American University of Antigua College of Medicine held its 2nd Annual Commencement exercise in a memorable ceremony at the Harvard Club in New York City.

AUA graduated 21 students, its largest class, who attended the very intimate event which was followed by a reception to celebrate with family and friends.

“As President and Founder, I am extremely proud to look out at all of you who have succeeded in realizing your dream,” said Neal Simon, Esq.

Seymour Schwartz, M.D., F.A.C.S, Provost, delivered the Commencement Address. Dr. Schwartz is an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate and received his Medical Degree from New York University College of Medicine.  Dr. Schwartz holds Board Certificates from the American Board of Surgery and the Board of Thoracic Surgery.  Dr.  Schwartz is an internationally renowned surgeon.  He has authored over a dozen textbooks and has contributed greatly to various other textbooks. He has authored over 300 scientific articles and lectured at institutions internationally.  During his career, he has held academic and hospital appointments including Chair of the Rochester School of Medicine Department of Surgery and also received an appointment as Distinguished Alumni Professor from there as well.

Peter Bell, M.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs and Executive Dean, Antigua Campus, and Winston Price, M.D., F.A.C.P.E., F.A.A.P., Executive Dean of Clinical Sciences for AUA both shared tales of their own vicissitudes along with their praise and congratulations to the graduates as they marked the beginning of their journey in medicine as physicians.

Dr. Price reinforced that graduation was not the end for the students, that it is merely the beginning, “Some of you may be thinking that you have come to the end of your education…..the profession of medicine is a lifelong educational process and a constant pursuit of acquiring new knowledge to help mankind and heal the sick…..The sincerity, honesty and integrity that you bring every day in your dedication to serve humankind as a doctor is what you must constantly have to the true healer and revered physician.”

Dr. Bell metaphorically spoke of the students’ journey as a sailing experience. “You back the boat of international medical education in the uncharted waters in Antigua where you faced some rough seas. It was not always a walk on the beach. You receive your degree but you discover that the world is not flat and you have to continue to sail not only on the ocean of medicine but you have to embark on the journey of continuous medical education.  I wish you always favorable winds and a smooth sail throughout your career and I want to congratulate you on this achievement,” he concluded.

Also in attendance was Lorna Scott McBarnette, Sc.D., Ed.D, Vice President for Institutional Development, and Clinical Chairs, Dr. Philip Isenberg, M.D., L.F.A.P.A., F.A.C.P.,  Dr. Martin Edelstein, M.D., C.C.F.P., A.B.F.P., A.B.F.P., F.A.A.F.P. and Dr. Michael Steckman, M.S., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.G.,  and Reza Sanii, Ph.D. Associate Dean of Students, Professor and Chair of Physiology.

Seema Kumar, ’08, was the Student Speaker who shared her experiences on the island and in her clinical rotations. She described medicine as the art of healing.