2019 Commencement

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) celebrated its 50th Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 9, at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall and granted a total 157 degrees.

Over the course of their academic careers, the Class of 2019 distinguished themselves by their remarkable achievements in scholarship, scientific discovery, and service. Collectively, the class showed themselves to be advocates in HIV/AIDs, global health, racism and bias, and incarcerated populations. In addition to graduating with  high distinctions, many in the class have authored publications; used their entrepreneurship to develop novel software and tools to improve health care delivery and patient diagnoses; and have been recognized for providing unrivaled care locally through the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership, as well as in the global community.

Dennis S. Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Presiding Official of the 2019 ceremony, reminded the graduates that with achievements come high expectations and great responsibility. “We need you to make transformative contributions to a better understanding of cancer, heart disease, brain diseases, and many other medical conditions, for which treatments are inadequate and certainly not curative,” he charged the graduates. “You need to make the discoveries that we have not.” He encouraged the class to remember the makings of greatness: “pushing your limits and daring greatly.” 

In his opening address, Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, shared a moment of reflection with the Class of 2019—who hold the distinction of being the School of Medicine’s 50th graduating class. “Fifty years ago, the political dialogue I was a part of was consumed by the war in Vietnam,” Dr. Davis said. “Today health care is the center of our political debate.” Dr. Davis stressed the importance of rising to the responsibility that physicians and researchers hold in providing affordable health care to all. He urged, “Class of 2019, I implore you to join the debate and make sure the conversations we’re having in our hospitals, in our communities, and across the country are honest and factual.”

Scott Gottlieb, MD, an Icahn School of Medicine alumnus and 23rd Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, delivered the 2019 Commencement Address. Dr. Gottlieb, who graduated from ISMMS 20 years ago, expressed gratitude for the foundation and freedom the School provided during his tenure, and encouraged the graduates to carry on its mission by continuing to serve society throughout their own careers. “Your medical training gives you a firm foundation to make important contributions, and the culture of Mount Sinai inspires that ethic,” he said.

In addition to Dr. Gottlieb, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai awarded Honorary Degrees to: Curtis Martin, NFL Hall of Fame; Helen H. Hobbs, MD, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southern Medical Center at Dallas; and C. Reynold Verret, PhD, President, Xavier University of Louisiana.

The Icahn School of Medicine granted a total of 157 degrees, which consisted of 101 MDs, 34 PhDs, and 22 Dual Degrees (11 MD/PhDs, 3 MD/MPHs, and 8 MD/MSCRs). The class of 2019 joins a network of accomplished alumni, known the world over for their integrity, discovery, altruism, and clinical research excellence.

Achievement Awards Ceremony

On Wednesday, May 8, the Icahn School of Medicine held the 2019 Achievement Award Ceremony for outstanding Medical, PhD, and Dual Degree students. Students, parents, faculty, and guests attended the annual event, and the Dean’s Reception, which followed. Learn more.