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2022 group photo of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine graduates in Florida
2022 graduates of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Florida

May 13, 2022

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff

It has been a year of many firsts for Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine's campus in Jacksonville, Florida. Earlier this spring, the first full cohort of medical students in Florida participated in Match Day for the first time. Now, this Sunday, May 15, that same cohort will help celebrate one more 'first' for the campus. The class of eleven medical students will graduate from Mayo Clinic in Florida in its first commencement ceremony at this campus location.

This graduating class will be joined by other Mayo Clinic medical students graduating in Arizona and Minnesota and celebrating commencement ceremonies later this month.

The innovative program at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Florida allows students to complete their first two years of didactic study in Arizona or Minnesota and finish the final two years of clinical study in Jacksonville, Florida. These students persevered through the pandemic, moving to Florida at the height of nationwide lockdowns and an uncertain future. This weekend, those students will move to residency and help relieve the physician shortage.

"The cornerstone of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science is our commitment to our students," says Fredric Meyer, M.D., Waugh Executive Dean of Education, Mayo Clinic. "When the Mayo brothers and families donated their estate to create the Mayo Foundation for Education and Research, they stated in their bequeath 'in service to humanity.' Students, you are about to embark on a noble mission."

Johanny Lopez DominguezStudent speaker

Johanny Lopez Dominguez is the student commencement speaker, and as a first-generation college graduate and soon-to-be physician, she credits her background for her motivation and ethic.

"I experienced the impact a caring physician has on patients when I was growing up in the Dominican Republic," she says. "My grandfather lived in a rural part of the Dominican Republic and had uncontrolled diabetes. His physician would go out of his way to come provide medical care. I want to be an advocate for all patients and work to address health disparities in and out of the hospital."

Commencement speakerAlfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, M.D.

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, M.D., also known as "Dr. Q," is the keynote speaker. He is chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and leads the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Florida. He has been recognized with the William J. and Charles H. Mayo Endowed Professorship.

Active in medical education and training the workforce of the future, he has mentored more than 300 postgraduate students and neurosurgery residents. He has been named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics, received the Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award. He also has been recognized as one of Mexico's most brilliant minds in the world by Forbes, among other accolades. Apart from his clinical and research activities, he is the co-founder and president of the nonprofit organization Mission: BRAIN and a member of the executive committee of Voices Against Brain Cancer.

Bringing Mayo values to residency and beyond

These graduates are headed across the country to residency where they will do their part to ease the physician shortage. An Association of American Medical Colleges study projects a shortfall of up to 139,000 physicians by 2033. These graduates will bring their Mayo training and values with them. As the third class of physicians of this generation to graduate during the pandemic, it has forced them to learn, practice, and innovate in new ways.

Students have worked side-by-side with world-renowned experts at Mayo Clinic to create new ways to address patients' future needs and lead positive change in medicine. They will lead innovative and transformative efforts in health care, and apply knowledge to develop creative solutions for some of the most complex problems facing patients and health systems today.

Learn more about spring 2022 commencement ceremonies at Mayo Clinic.

Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida at 2022 commencement
Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida, presents diplomas at 2022 commencement in Florida