RENO, Nevada (May 13, 2022) – Fourth-year medical students at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) celebrated their grand opening on May 13 at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno. One of the most anticipated days of the year for these new doctors, Commencement marks the beginning of the professional career of each of the 70 graduates.
During the event, a balaclava ceremony celebrated the completion of the Class of 2022 undergraduate medical education towards their graduation from UNR Med with the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD). The 70 students each received their diploma and then recited the Physician’s Oath as a public declaration of their continued dedication to the field of medicine.
Based on the Hippocratic Oath, written over 2,500 years ago, the Physician’s Oath encompasses a personal commitment to ethical practices, a commitment to care for all patients, and a promise to honor the traditions of the medical education. The graduates repeated a modified version of the oath, which the World Medical Association adopted in 2017 at this year’s graduation ceremony.
While the Physician’s Oath, also known as the Geneva Declaration, is known for its introductory statement, “The health and welfare of my patient shall be my first consideration,” the updated oath, recited by the UNR Med class of 2022 at their hood ceremony on May 13 includes new language: “I will look after my own health, well-being and abilities in order to provide the highest quality care.
“Oaths have the power to influence,” Melissa Piasecki, MD, acting dean, told students. “They can guide our ethical decisions and behaviors. They make us responsible to ourselves and to each other. If we change an oath, we can change what we do and how we do it.
Kyler Smith, a second-year UNR Med research student in clinical ethics, reached out to Dr. Piasecki with a proposal to include the new language at the UNR Med Class of 2022 rollover ceremony, this which sparked a discussion about change.
“Reported burnout in medicine is high, and we need to pay attention to this new language about wellness,” Dr. Piasecki said. “The language used in this oath is important because bringing our best abilities to patient care requires self-care. It is the key that unlocks our least biased, most complete and best selves.
This year’s first speaker was Dr. Gillian Schmitz, MD, emergency physician and associate professor in the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine at the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAM™). A nationally recognized educator and leader, Dr. Schmitz serves on the National Board of Directors of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
A healthy Nevada is the vision of UNR Med, and the expansion and retention of Nevada’s medical workforce is essential to the school’s community and community program model. According to the Health Workforce in Nevada report from the Office of Statewide Initiatives, Nevada continues to face widespread shortages of physicians in areas such as family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry , surgery, etc.
This year’s class follows UNR Med’s reputation for placing graduates in some of the most competitive residency programs in the country, including those in Reno and Las Vegas, with students pursuing a variety of specializations. The location of residency training is an important predictor of where physicians will establish their medical practice after completing their residency. This has significant implications for the future availability of physicians in a given region. Nearly half of the students at NUR Med were matched in primary care, including family medicine, internal medicine, internal medicine/paediatrics, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology.
Residency programs and specialties for the Class of 2022 are posted online.
Founded in 1969, UNR Med, Nevada’s first public medical school, has educated more than 3,500 students, residents, and fellows.
To view the Class of 2022 MD Academic Graduation Ceremony and learn more about the Class of 2022 residency programs and specialties, visit med.unr.edu/events/graduation.