Highlights of the MD, PhD, and Dual Degree Ceremony
In his opening address, Kenneth Davis, MD, Mount Sinai Health System, acknowledges the Class of 2023’s courageous participation in Mount Sinai’s response to the greatest health crisis of our lifetime: the COVID-19 pandemic. Noting the class’s valorous actions with the Student WorkForce, Dr. Davis says: “It wasn’t enough for your class to witness history. You helped make history, with your volunteerism.” From the start of this class’s tenure with Icahn Mount Sinai, they have lived into the values of the health system and their white coats—treating with compassionate and equitable human care, becoming a true service to society. Dr. Davis concludes with a clarion call to the class: "Use your voice. Speak out. Uphold our values. You are well prepared to make your mark on medicine.”
Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Presiding Official of the 2023 Ceremony, reminded the class that from the start of their medical careers, they learned something that’s not taught in textbooks or labs: character. Working alongside Mount Sinai’s physicians, nurses, and staff who daily put their lives on the line for the greater good of society left an impressionable reminder to the class that they too possess great courage. Not shying from the rigors that lie ahead for the class, he reminds them to rely on the qualities that build character to provide strength and perseverance when facing future challenges and confronting the mysteries of science. “You have the training. You have the talent. You have the character. With all that you now possess comes responsibility,” he says. “We need you to put your education, skills, and commitment to work. We need you to become great doctors, scientists, and public health leaders.”
This year’s Commencement Address was provided by Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, President, Mount Sinai Heart and Physician in Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital. His address to the class focused on one word: “Progress”—from a conceptual lens on science and medicine, to an individual’s active participation to improve through principles of resilience, mentorship, and generosity. In his closing words, he reminded the class that through connection and love of their patients, doctors have the power to ‘transform the deepest layers of the human soul into light, hope, and optimism,’ with humanistic care and being ahead of progress. “In this special and unique day,” he started, “please stop your clock, and celebrate your achievement. And turn the clock back to give thanks to all of those that helped you on this journey...to make you ready to engage in progress.”
The Icahn School of Medicine conferred four honorary degrees to: Dr.Valentin Fuster; Ashish Jha, MD, PhD, National Leader on Public Health and COVID-19 Response; and the husband-and-wife team behind the leading vaccine to solve COVID-19, Professor Ügar Şahin, MD, Chief Executive Officer, BioNTech SE and Professor Ögzlem Türeci, MD, Chief Medical Officer, BioNTech SE.
The Icahn School of Medicine granted a total of 172 degrees to graduates of the following programs: 112 MD, 35 PhD, and 25 Dual Degree (10 MD/PhD, 7 MD/MPH, and 8 MD/MSCR). In addition to graduating with high distinctions, the Class of 2023 have made scientific discoveries that will help us understand cancer growth and resistance in chemotherapy; worked to improve community health around the world and have unrivaled free health care locally through the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership, and much more.
The Class of 2023 joins a network of accomplished alumni, including the members of Mount Sinai’s first graduating classes, who were in attendance at this year’s ceremony, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation (1970-1973). Mount Sinai’s alumni are known the world over for their integrity, discovery, altruism, and clinical research excellence.
The 2023 Commencement Ceremony program is available to view and download.
Commencement Week Activities
On Wednesday, May 10, the Icahn School of Medicine honored the Class of 2023 during the Achievement Awards. The awards were distributed during a Dean’s Reception and celebrated outstanding Medical, PhD, and Dual Degree students and their accomplishments. Students, parents, faculty, and guests were invited to share in the interactive event. The 2023 Achievement Ceremony program is available to view and download.