May 22, 2023
Mayo Clinic's commencement celebrations came to a close this May with the final ceremony in Rochester after ceremonies in Arizona and Florida were held earlier in the month. We wish congratulations and best of luck to all of the graduates.
After Florida's commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, thirty-eight medical students in Arizona graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine on Wednesday, May 17.
Following that, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, held a join commencement ceremony to confer medical and biomedical master's and doctoral degrees. Fifty-five new physicians joined Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine alumni, with 11 of the new graduates receiving both medical and doctoral degrees. Thirty-eight new biomedical scientists received doctoral degrees, including those who trained in Arizona and Florida. In addition, 22 students received master's degrees.
In total, more than 150 students received degrees across Mayo Clinic's three main campus locations.
Commencement in Arizona
At the ceremony in Arizona, Michele Halyard, M.D., Suzanne Hanson Poole Vice Dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine — Arizona campus, was recognized for her many years of distinguished and exemplary service as she retires June 2023. Dr. Halyard’s passion, energy, and leadership helped Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona excel.
It has been a long, hard journey full of challenges, twists, turns, successes, and maybe a few failures along the way, but you made it to graduation. Give yourself the grace and the self-love to accept the things you are not good at, embrace the things you excel at, and to keep going. Believe in your abilities to learn and grow and recover from missteps. You won't be perfect in everything you do, but as long as you grow and move forward, you will succeed.
Michele Halyard, M.D.
Suzanne Hanson Poole Vice Dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine; Dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona
Fredric Meyer, M.D., Waugh Executive Dean of Education and dean of the medical school, Mayo Clinic, congratulated graduates and expressed his gratitude for the incredible students, staff, administrators, and faculty who have dedicated countless hours to the practice of medicine, research, and education. Dr. Meyer also thanked Dr. Halyard for her selfless leadership and many contributions to education at Mayo Clinic.
Anna Pisac, M.D., was the student commencement speaker, and as a graduate and soon-to-be physician, she urged students to treat themselves and others with kindness in residency.
Every one of us makes mistakes and questions our abilities and can relate, in some way, to that out-of-place feeling. Offer yourself kindness when the tribulations of residency make you question whether you're in the right place after all, and extend that same kindness to the trainees who follow you so we can continue to make medicine a more understanding, humanizing place for physicians and patients alike. We have proven that we belong, that we deserve to be here. Let's go do it again.
Anna Pisac, M.D.
Student speaker, Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Arizona campus
Commencement in Minnesota
At the joint ceremony in Minnesota, students from both Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences received degrees.
"Today, we celebrate you," said Stephen Ekker, Ph.D., dean of Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. "I am confident of two key points: First, you have completed and developed an amazing core of scientific training that will be foundational for your future. And second, you will inspire all of us with what you will achieve next."
The commencement ceremony featured a student speaker from each school.
Today isn’t about finishing grants or working on papers, or that endless struggle to research the unknown. Today is instead a chance to look back and recognize how much we've truly accomplished — to take one of those rare moments to pause and catch our breath and celebrate just how far we've really come.
Bradley Bowles, Ph.D.
student speaker, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
I hope we all carry with us the principles we learned. Teamwork and humility are the keys to providing excellent patient care while ensuring our personal success and longevity in medicine. And that above all other things, the needs of the patient must come first.
Connor Walsh, M.D.
student speaker, Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Minnesota
Dawn Mussallem, D.O., the commencement speaker, shared inspiring wisdom with the graduates. She spoke from both her professional experience and her personal experience as a patient.
Dr. Mussallem is internationally known in the fields of breast medicine and lifestyle medicine. Three months into medical school, she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. In 2021, she was a heart transplant recipient.
At commencement, she shared her journey to becoming a physician, her health care experiences, her perspective on finding purpose in caring for others, and the power of changing your mindset.