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Oakland University William Beaumont medical school graduates charter class

The future looks bright for the 47 students who crossed the stage during Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine’s first-ever commencement ceremony, which took place May 15 in Oakland University’s athletic O’rena. OUWB leaders, public officials, distinguished visitors, and families and friends were on hand as graduates marked an important milestone in their personal and professional lives.

Members of OUWB’s charter class were selected from more than 3,200 applicants nationwide when the school opened in 2011 as Michigan’s first new M.D.-granting allopathic medical school in nearly 50 years. Guided by Founding Dean Robert Folberg, the school gained full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. OUWB was designed to transform medical education by emphasizing holistic physician development – a “liberal arts medical education” that is grounded in evidence-based medical science.

“Our graduates have excelled academically and are engaged with their communities,” Dr. Folberg said. “They are also physicians who are compassionate, who listen with focused intensity, and who communicate clearly with elevated cultural awareness.”

During the ceremony, John E. Prescott, M.D., Chief Academic Officer of the Association of American Medical College, presented the commencement address and AIDS activist Mary Fisher received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

Commencement came just weeks after the OUWB celebrated its first Match Day, when students found out where they will train in their residency programs. Students were placed to residencies in more than a dozen specialty areas at health systems in Michigan and in some of the most prestigious institutions throughout the country. Medical school partner Beaumont Health accepted 14 OUWB students as residents.

Dean Robert Folberg and the OUWB administrative team and faculty – including about 1,400 Beaumont doctors – have created an innovative school that blazes a new trail for medical education of the future,” said John Fox, CEO, Beaumont Health. “Their success is evidenced by the 100 percent residency match rate of the first class of graduates. We are proud to be a partner in a medical school that will replenish the supply of doctors for the future and help to attract top medical talent to Michigan.”

The first OUWB graduation is a historical milestone on the Oakland University campus. President George W. Hynd added, “As Oakland University president, it is my honor to participate in the inaugural commencement ceremonies for OUWB. These students put their trust in our educators and, proudly, we delivered on our promise to prepare them for a bright future as empathetic physicians who are driven toward serving the community.”

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