May 22, 2007
Contact: Anna Farneski
Phone: (973) 972-3000
UMDNJ Graduates Largest Class in University History
Dr. Atul Gawande, Surgeon, Author, Delivered Keynote Address
HOLMDEL — The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey today graduated the largest class in the University’s history during the 37th Annual Commencement Ceremony at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.
Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and noted author of Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, delivered the keynote address to 1,479 graduating health professionals along with their families and friends. An assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital, and a Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Gawande is a staff writer for the New Yorker and author of the "Notes of a Surgeon" column in the New England Journal of Medicine.
He told the graduates that medicine is a profession of responsibility and urged them to strive for excellence. “Our task is the betterment of as many lives as possible,” Dr. Gawande said.
Dr. Bruce C. Vladeck, the University’s interim president, presided over the ceremony and conferred an honorary degree upon Dr. Gawande.
The graduates also heard from Robert Del Tufo, Esq., Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees who addressed the importance of the degree and credential they received.
“It is a valid and vital connection between you as a caregiver and your patient,” he said. “It is the right to the confidence of another human being. This is huge. It is life-sustaining, life affirming and, in my opinion, deeply inspiring. We thank you. And we salute you.”
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,700 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.