Commencement 2020

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) commemorated its 51st Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 15, in a virtual celebration.

During a time when resilience and courage is needed most, over 200 medical, PhD, and dual-degree students graduated from the Icahn School of Medicine in the School’s first ever virtual Commencement Ceremony. The pre-recorded ceremony was a celebration of the Class of 2020’s accomplishments throughout the course of their academic careers; the bravery they’ve shown in the face of a public health crisis; and their future endeavors as physicians and scientists.

Highlights of the MD, PhD, and Dual Degree Ceremony

Dennis S. Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Presiding Official of the 2020 ceremony, praised the medical and graduate students who volunteered over 15,000 hours during the current pandemic. After reflecting on the encouragement he offered to the class during their White Coat Ceremony, the start of the graduates’ academic careers, Dean Charney imparted assuring words: “I have great confidence in your ability to rise up and face the challenges that you’re going to see in the next part of your careers.”

In his opening address, Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, incited the class to continue working harmoniously by holding true to Mount Sinai’s values and the community of medical professionals that he describes as being, “driven by science, by medicine, and by facts—and driven just as hard by heart.” He says to the class, “You are entering the medical field when we need you more than ever…you are not just in the light; you are the light.”

The Icahn School of Medicine had the privilege of welcoming two Commencement speakers for the first time in the Schools’ history: Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, and VADM Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, 20th Surgeon General of the United States. Both speakers offered celebratory and heartfelt remarks to the class, encouraging them to meet each future challenge with collaboration in order to create a more just society and health care system. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai awarded Honorary Degrees to both Dr. Adams and Mr. Walker.

The Icahn School of Medicine granted a total of 254 degrees to graduates of the following programs: 139 MD, 79 PhD, and 36 Dual Degree (21 MD/PhD, 5 MD/MPH, and 10 MD/MSCR). Seventy-seven medical students earned their degrees in April during an informal ceremony. About a quarter of the early graduates volunteered to begin clinical work through the Mount Sinai Medical Corps—a recently formed training program that allows these newest MDs to provide vital support services to an overburdened staff in the health system.

In addition to graduating with high distinctions, the Class of 2020 have authored publications in health care; have made extraordinary discoveries in cancer, heart disease, and mental illness research; have advocated for health access and inclusion for marginalized communities; and have been recognized for providing unrivaled care locally through the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership, as well as in the global community. The Class of 2020 joins a network of accomplished alumni, known the world over for their integrity, discovery, altruism, and clinical research excellence.

The 2020 Commencement Ceremony program is available to view and download.

Achievement Awards

On Thursday, May 14, the Icahn School of Medicine held a virtual Achievement Ceremony for outstanding Medical, PhD, and Dual Degree students. Students, parents, faculty, and guests were invited to share in the virtual event. The 2020 Achievement Ceremony program is available to view and download.