With much fanfare and regalia, 41 students of the Class of 2016 graduated from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine on May 7. It was the school's third class to graduate.

In addressing the faculty and family members of the students, Dean Cynda Johnson said, "These students, soon to be medical residents, are prepared for the next step in their journey and are on track to be the kind of physician you will want to call 'my doctor.'"

J. Kevin Dorsey, M.D., Ph.D., dean and provost emeritus at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, delivered the keynote address.

"Any patient would have a difficult time knowing how much you've actually learned," he said. "What they really want is a good doctor, a doctor who cares."

Members of the class selected two classmates to give remarks at the ceremony, which was held at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke.

"It's really about the journey of maturation as we progressed from undergraduate students, to medical students, and now physicians," said Eric Kim, one of the student speakers. "Look how far we have come."

Members of the class also selected Joelle Miller, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, to share some words of wisdom.

"Each of you will transition from student to physician this morning and leave this stage with a new title, 'Doctor,'" Miller said. "This priviledge demands intelligence; a strong, dynamic clinical knowledge base; commitment to hard, hard work; and most importantly, humanism."

The young doctors now being their residencies. They will be pursuing 21 specialties in 34 different programs dispersed across 19 states. The residency programs include Georgetown, Duke, Baylor, the University of North Carolina a Chapel Hill, and others.

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