Ten Medical School Graduates Swear in to U.S. Military

Posted in GUMC Stories

MAY 17, 2014 —Georgetown University Medical School (new window) students who will serve in the United States Army, Navy and Air Force took the oath of office during a commissioning ceremony on Saturday, May 17.

A total of 10 graduating students received promotions; the Army and Air Force graduates were promoted to the rank of captain, while the Navy graduates were promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

Army Brig. Gen. Norvell Coots, deputy commanding general for support and the assistant surgeon general for force projection, advised the soon-to-be graduates about medical procedures and advances they could see if they deploy to combat. Coots offered inspiring words to the future military physicians.

“Never give up,” said Coots. “First, never give up on yourself. If you do not believe in yourself, your confidence or your knowledge, abilities and capabilities, why would you ever expect anyone else to?”

Coots also told the graduates to never give up on their dreams—or on their patients.

Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, MBA (new window), dean for medical education at Georgetown University School of Medicine, shared some of Georgetown’s history of medical students who went on to become military physicians.

“You will join a wonderful tradition and we are proud of you,” Mitchell said. “You will be called on because as Georgetown University School of Medicine graduates, they know you are good.”

Ben Krainin (M’14), a United States Military Academy graduate, is continuing a family tradition of serving in the military in a medical profession. He said he wanted to become an officer to lead soldiers.

“I wanted to become a military physician so that I can take care of those who put their lives on the line on behalf of Americans everywhere,” Krainin said.

Continuing the Cura Personalis Tradition

Medical students at Georgetown learn the Jesuit concept of cura personalis, or care of the whole person. It is a principle they will carry with them in the next phase of their medical careers.

“Soldiers and their families deserve the best all-encompassing medical, spiritual and emotional care possible,” said Krainin. “Being a military physician means you have the unique privilege and responsibility of directly taking care of hundreds of soldiers and their families.”

A.J. Pisano (M’14), also a United States Military Academy graduate, agrees.

“Soldiers make tremendous sacrifices of both mind and body. They deserve to be treated in true cura personalis fashion,” Pisano said.

The graduating officers, part of the Health Professions Scholarship Program (new window), also formed the Military Medicine Interest Group at Georgetown (new window).

At a separate ceremony, two undergraduates at the School of Nursing & Health Studies (new window) were commissioned through the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), including human science major Freeman Condon (NHS’14) with the United States Army and nursing major Alexandra Gracia (NHS’14) with the United States Navy.

Condon plans to attend the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and Gracia will be a military nurse at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia.

By Sarah Reik
GUMC Communications