Aruba: Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM) Aruba celebrated the 2022 commencement ceremony on June 4 at its brand new residential campus. There were a total of 52 graduates in the class, with more than half of them joining the ceremony in person in Aruba.
Endy Croes, Minister for Education and Sport of Aruba, was the keynote speaker while Ravi Bhooplapur, President XUSOM was also present at the ceremony.
President Ravi Bhooplapur in his address spoke to the graduates about keeping their passion and drive as they embark on their careers in the medical field. “You have made your mark on our institution and leave Xavier better than when you arrived. Remember you will always have a home with Xavier University School of Medicine,” he said. Bhooplapur concluded his speech by reminding the students to stay in touch with their classmates, faculty, and staff.
Endy Croes, Minister for Education and Sport of Aruba as the keynote speaker called upon the graduates for perseverance and to overcome challenges in their lives. “You may all not have been born in Aruba, but I am sure that wherever you go, you will remember us and will keep the nation of Aruba in your hearts,” he said.
Minister Croes was presented with an award by President Bhooplapur at the ceremony in recognition of his extraordinary commitment to the people of Aruba and his support of advanced medical education through collaboration.
The ceremony was started by the emcee, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Arun Dubey who first welcomed the graduates, families, and friends. “It takes a lot of people to turn the mission at Xavier into a reality, and we are so lucky to have such great faculty and staff. I know they have found it a privilege to be part of your experience,” Dr. Dubey said.
Chairman Edwin Casey in his address explained that it was not just graduates’ hard work that had led them to this point, but also the support of the people around them, including family and friends as well as Xavier faculty and staff. “Graduation is the beginning, not the end. Few great journeys are completed alone. Those that stand with us make us stronger and make them stronger,” he said.
Casey also introduced Dr. Ismail Mourad, the Salutatorian from the Class of 2022. Ismail in his speech explained to the graduates that it is the beginning of the rest of their lives. “We become MDs, but more important than the title is the responsibility of being a guardian of your community’s trust and care and providing them with the utmost respect and compassion for the rest of your career,” Dr. Ismail said.
Board of Trustee member Dr. P.K. Prahalad’s speech highlighted the topic of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and how little we know about them. Dr. Prahalad explained to the graduates that only by understanding the causes and consequences of the tidal wave of multi-morbidity that the doctors will be able to respond effectively and transition to more patient-centered health systems characterized by high-value, integrated primary care. “We have laid our foundation, now go rise and grow beyond,” he said.
Chancellor Dr. J.G. Bhat explained to the graduates that doctors need to provide care to patients above and beyond their technical knowledge. “Sick people need something more than a doctor. You must also be a healer, an advisor, and often a cheerleader for their cause,” Dr. Bhat said.
Dr. Bhat introduced Dr. Nikhale Malik, the Valedictorian from the Class of 2022. Nikhale underscored the need for the graduates to practice medicine with empathy. He remarked, “In medical school, we have studied countless pathologies, examinations, medications, side effects, bacteria, the list goes on. Despite this, it is important that we remain cognizant of the patient experience so that we can empathize with them and enhance the quality of care we can provide.”
After the absentee graduates were recognized, all of the graduates in attendance received their diplomas and were given their Medical Doctor hoods. The ceremony concluded with Dr. Richard Pestell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, leading the graduates in the Hippocratic Oath and President Bhooplapur officially conferring the degrees.
XUSOM Class of 2022
Juan Garcia Vaca