This month, graduates received their Doctor of Medicine degrees and master’s in biomedical sciences degrees at California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM). The 2023 Commencement ceremonies symbolized the culmination of their educational journey, characterized by a remarkable 100 percent residency match at some of the top programs in the country. Furthermore, over 33 percent of the class will continue their residencies in the Inland Empire.
The MD Class of 2023 assembled at the historic Fox Theater in Riverside on May 20 to commemorate their four-year journey and entrance into a career committed to service. The event was attended by proud family members, friends, CUSM faculty, and the Board of Trustees.
Prem Reddy, MD, Founding Chair of the Board of Trustees, delivered an inspiring address reminding the graduates that medicine is not just a science but also an art. "As you embark on your journey in medicine, one of the most honorable professions, always remember the humanity at the core of medicine," Dr. Reddy emphasized.
CUSM was founded in 2015 by Dr. Reddy, one of the nation's most visionary healthcare leaders and founder of Prime Healthcare, a health system with 45 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient locations in 14 states. Dr. Reddy founded CUSM through a substantial contribution from the Prime Healthcare Foundation and through a unique public-private partnership with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and the County of San Bernardino. In 2018, CUSM admitted its first medical class and now has four medical doctor program classes enrolled with 422 students, with 91 percent of students coming from California. In addition, 36 percent of students are from low socio-economic status, and students are highly qualified, having scored in the top 10 – 25 percent on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The graduating class of 2023 was selected among more than 6,000 applicants.
"Prime Healthcare's mission has been to improve healthcare across communities by saving hospitals. Medicine gives you the chance to impact people in any community across the world. The world will always need compassion, hope, humanity, and goodness," said Dr. Reddy during his address to the MD graduates. "We believe that medicine can change lives and therefore, change the world. We are honored to support your dreams, your future in medicine, and most importantly, your commitment to giving."
The MD Commencement keynote address was delivered by Dr. Lipi Roy, an Internal Medicine physician, addiction specialist, and renowned contributor to Forbes and CNN. Dr. Roy shared her personal experiences to underscore the human aspect of being a doctor. She emphasized the significance of establishing connections, not only with patients but also with fellow healthcare professionals, family, friends, and the community at large, to promote self-care and combat burnout.
"As you embark on your journey in medicine, the power of connection will help you thrive and survive," said Dr. Roy. "Connections matter not just for your patients but for yourself. You need to connect with your fellow healthcare professionals to provide high-quality patient care. But you also need to connect with family, friends, and members of your community to minimize burnout and to maximize self-care."
"For the Class of 2023, this event symbolizes the great privilege you will have to improve the lives of others in the most profound ways," said Kavitha Bhatia, MD, President and Chair, Prime Healthcare Foundation and Founding Vice Chair of the CUSM Board. "Medicine is an honor and a gift. This is a moment to reflect on the dreams that have led you here, the challenges you have overcome, the hopes you carry with you and the people who have loved and supported you."
California is experiencing a significant physician shortage and CUSM is focused on producing a physician workforce that identifies and responds to the needs of the region. In addition to the MD program, CUSM offers a Master of Biomedical Sciences degree, an innovative degree program designed for students who wish to enhance their academic qualifications and candidacy for a career in healthcare. Sixty students graduated from the MBS program this year, and many will attend medical school.
"CUSM has positioned itself to provide educational opportunities, economic benefit, enhanced access, and improved health outcomes for the Inland Empire, Southern California, and beyond," said Paul Lyons, MD, President and Dean of CUSM. "We are proud to be a part of and contribute to the vibrant Inland Southern California region with future physicians and scientists who have demonstrated perseverance, courage and excellence under exceptional circumstances."
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