Issue 94 - May 16, 2017
Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson
Friends and colleagues,
This past Saturday I participated in UNLV's commencement ceremonies for the second year. Graduation is a pivotal moment in every student's life. Even though I wrote about the excitement and tradition around graduation ceremonies last year, I decided to write about it again because I find each year to be its own unique experience. 
A look back
As I watched more than 2,900 gregarious UNLV student graduates cross the stage, I thought back on the many medical school graduations I have led as dean. In 1996, I became the dean of a medical school in Philadelphia composed of two separate, but recently merged schools, Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP) and Hahnemann University (HU). During my three years as dean, we graduated 225 students from MCP and 175 from HU for a total of 400 students each year.

A few years later, in 2002, as dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine I supervised nine graduations with doctoral hoodings of 175 students each year. Over the span of my career I have graduated and hooded 2,775 medical students.
Charter class graduation
In May 2021, the UNLV School of Medicine will be celebrating the graduation of our charter class. We will hold a separate ceremony for the medical students, their families and friends specific to the medical profession.

Two special highlights of the ceremony include all the physicians in the audience being asked to join the graduating medical students in reciting the Hippocratic Oath. It's a very special moment. Another highlight for the students is receiving the hood signifying the granting of the medical degree. It's a large hood that hangs around their neck and extends down their back. It has a dark green velvet collar that covers the hood in the back. On the inside of the back panel, the green outlines the colors of the medical school you attended. The commencement address from one of the graduating students never fails as one of the memorable stories from the day. 

Every graduation day for me has become its own, inspiring, and special event; and a momentous occasion for the students and their families. Our first graduation ceremony will truly stand out as a very proud experience for the faculty, myself, and everyone in our community who have helped to enable the Class of 2021 to become a reality.

Best wishes,


Watch UNLV School of Medicine Video: Why a Medical School

Las Vegas has experienced tremendous growth over the past four decades. With such an increase in its population, medical services have felt the strain to keep up with the ever expanding community. The UNLV School of Medicine was created to help address some of these issues by educating more physicians, more specialists and more sub-specialists.

This is an exciting time for southern Nevada take a moment to hear from stakeholders that were involved in the process. Click on the arrow in the middle of the video to watch.
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