Warwick Evans Awards Ceremony Honors the Most Exceptional Members of the Class of 2017

Posted in GUMC Stories

May 21, 2017 - Faculty members, friends and family gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the Georgetown University School of Medicine Class of 2017 at the Warwick Evans Awards Ceremony in Gaston Hall – the same location where the students received their white coats four years earlier.

“This evening, in this inspiring hall, we the members of the faculty of the School of Medicine, wish to pay tribute to you, the class of 2017, in the presence of family and friends,” said Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, MBA, dean for medical education at the School of Medicine, during the May 19 ceremony.

“We all continue to marvel at your capacity for work and studying, your diligence and dedication, growth and maturation,” Mitchell said. “Even more importantly, I’m so impressed by you as wonderful human beings, compassionate caregivers, dedicated to the care of the whole person as well as committed to your community.”

“I would like to offer my very personal congratulations to all of the students who are being honored here tonight,” said Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH, executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine. “We are so very proud of you and all that you have accomplished.”

To see a full list of student awardees, please click here.

“… Continue to ask, to reassess, to wonder aloud, if you’re doing God’s will”

“Without a doubt, many of you will move on to promising careers in medicine and in your personal lives as well,” said guest speaker Jason Freeman (M’06), MD, medical director of the Sibley Memorial Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine Stroke Program. “But in reflecting on what I would wish for each of you is that as you leave this environment of cura personalis, that you continue the spiritual practice of discernment, that you continue to ask yourself, what is God’s will for me?”

Freeman told the future doctors that when he sees his former classmates, he often asks if they are happy. Regularly reevaluating one’s life choices is the key to answering that question in the affirmative, he said.  

“Ultimately, in order to answer that simple question of ‘are you happy?’, I pray that each one of you will continue to the process of discernment, continue to ask, to reassess, to wonder aloud, if you’re doing God’s will,” Freeman said. “So someday, a few years from now, and by practicing the process of discernment, when asked that simple question, ‘are you happy?’, I hope that you will be able to answer yes, that you will feel whole, that you will feel loved, and that you will be happy.”

A Challenge to Stay Positive in the Face of Adversity

man speaking to group of peopleRepresenting the class of 2017, student speaker Samuel McAleese (M’17) challenged his classmates to embrace both the highs and lows that come with the pursuit of medicine. “Our charge as Georgetown medical graduates is continuing the tradition of cura personalis, care of the whole person, by embracing the joy and the optimism as well as the frustrations that come with practicing medicine,” he said. “Reconciling those perspectives and maintaining that optimism is hard. But we’re Georgetown medical students. We like hard things. We’re great at hard things. If we wanted to do something easy, we would have gone to law school.”

In addition to all that they have achieved to date, the class of 2017 is well-positioned to accomplish even more in the future, McAleese said. “These achievements will be difficult,” he said. “However, I know that our class is exceptional. Our training at Georgetown has been exceptional. And I have no doubt that we will be exceptional wherever we go.”

Kat Zambon
GUMC Communications