Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, this year’s MSIH graduation ceremony was a virtual event. On May 24th, the class of 2020 stood before their webcams, to have their MD degrees bestowed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Most of the students were already in the US preparing to commence residency – so in the background, a week prior to the ceremony, the administrative staff of MSIH – newly released from home quarantine – dispatched the students’ diplomas by courier, hoping they’ll arrive on time for the ceremony.
Taking it in stride
“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” said Prof. Alan Jotkowitz, Director of MSIH, “but in many respects this is exactly what we train our students to deal with. By its very nature, Global Health is unpredictable and requires improvisation, quick-thinking and adaptability. The MSIH education injects these very skills into our students – so most of them are taking the current situation in stride.“
A few students remained in Israel and received their diplomas from the office staff.
“Due to Social Distancing, we had to keep numbers as low as possible,” said Leaura Navi, Administrative Director of the School. “Only two or three people were present while we took a quick photo. The students really appreciated our efforts in very trying circumstances.”
Dr. Lynne Quittell, Director of the MSIH North American Office, hosted the ceremony. More than 380 people logged on to the webcast to watch and participate.
“I was honored to host our first and hopefully last virtual graduation. I’m so proud of our graduates and look forward to seeing their contributions to the world and medicine.” Dr. Quittell later commented.
18th Graduation and 600 Physicians
This being the 18th Graduation Ceremony, MSIH has now over 600 alumni, with many of its physicians working in Global Health settings around the world.
“The current pandemic has hugely increased awareness of Global Health,” explains Prof. Jotkowitz. “Many MSIH graduates are in the front lines and are using the skills they acquired at our school. We fully expect a surge in interest in Global Health specialties in coming years and we at MSIH will be delighted to share our knowledge.”
MSIH has a very impressive record in the National Residency Matching Program (The Match). Indeed, in 2018, it had a 100% match rate – unheard of for a Foreign Medical School. 2020 is also noteworthy – one-fifth of those who Matched will be doing residency at the Mayo Clinic. For an historical list of residency placements, click here.
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