As the UMKC School of Medicine wrapped up a yearlong celebration of its 40th anniversary, it also celebrated another milestone when it topped more than 3,000 alumni with the graduation of the Class of 2012 on May 24 at the Kansas City Music Hall.
One of the early graduates of the School, Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ’78, related her experience of entering the School as a freshman 40 years ago. The day before the graduation ceremony, Jackson, a Kansas City pediatrician, was honored as this year’s E. Grey Dimond Take Wing Award winner.
Jackson congratulated the graduating class and welcomed the graduates into the ranks of UMKC alumni. She also gave them a list of what she said are essential traits to achieving success in the next step of their journey — medical residency: being a problem solvers, prioritizing what is important in work and in life, finding a mentor and maintaining contact with successful experts, and finding a balance between a successful career and a fulfilling life.
“I hope you feel the love and pride of all those in the audience and at the end of each day for the length of your entire career, you will remember that feeling and that you will consider that the duties and responsibilities of a doctor involve more than making the correct diagnosis and treatment plan,” Jackson said. “As a graduate of this School, I hope you will always be passionate, have compassion, maintain your sense of humor and develop your personal style that allows you to reach the life and career goals that will be beyond anything you can imagine.”
Gail Hackett, executive vice chancellor and provost, pointed out that nearly one-half of the members of the graduating class would continue their medical career in the state of Missouri and surrounding areas.
“We train health care professionals to be a vital part of the medical, social and economic framework of the communities where you are needed. Today, you leave as physicians and you join the ranks of your fellow distinguished alumni in advancing the health of their communities,” Hackett said.
Saranya Reghunathan, M.D., ’12, was selected by her classmates to speak on their behalf and celebrated the honor on her 23rd birthday.
“Before we go off to residency, just remember, we’re all graduates of the fine institution that is UMKC and we’re going to represent this institution for the rest of our lives,” she said. “We have had the luxury of growing up together in Kansas City and the people in our hearts have really shaped us into the physicians and people we are today. I am convinced of our continued success in the future. Congratulations, Class of 2012.”