An inspiring sendoff: CMSRU Class of 2024 embarks on medical journey with resilience and purpose

An inspiring sendoff: CMSRU Class of 2024 embarks on medical journey with resilience and purpose


On Thursday, May 9, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) held its commencement ceremony for the 109 members of the Class of 2024 – its largest graduating class since the school’s inaugural commencement in 2016. Despite inclement weather forcing the event indoors this year, the rain didn’t dampen the festive atmosphere as the graduates, along with CMSRU deans, faculty, and leaders from Rowan University and Cooper University Health Care, gathered with students’ families, friends, and loved ones to celebrate this momentous event.

CMSRU Dean Annette C. Reboli, MD, took the podium, her voice resounding with pride and admiration for the accomplished class before her. She spoke about the resilience, grit, adaptability, and emotional intelligence demonstrated by the graduates as they began their medical school journey during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“You have been forged and transformed by these events in ways that may not be readily apparent but that will certainly influence the physicians that you will become,” remarked Reboli.

Reboli urged the graduates to recognize the immense privilege and responsibility that comes with being a medical doctor.

“The practice of medicine is a lifelong commitment to learning, growth, and humility. It is a profession that demands not only clinical expertise but also empathy, compassion, and the ability to advocate for your patients,” said Reboli. “For your most vulnerable patients, I know that you will be their voice when they cannot speak. As physicians, you will face challenges and uncertainties, but it is through these experiences that you will grow both personally and professionally.”

This year’s commencement speaker was Dr. Darilyn Moyer, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Physicians. She captivated the audience with her address, “Anchors, Propellors, and Wings: The Formula to Thrive in Medicine,” which emphasized the significance of values, curiosity, gratitude, authenticity, resilience, leadership, and advocacy in the medical profession. Dr. Moyer highlighted the importance of humility, professionalism, empathy, and continuous learning as anchors; curiosity, gratitude, and authenticity as propellors; and the transformative journey of becoming a physician as wings. With anecdotes and inspirational quotes, she urged the graduates to navigate challenges with integrity and compassion while striving to make a lasting impact in healthcare.

The highlight of the event came with the reading of the names and the doctoral hooding ceremony. One by one, the students ascended the stage for their physician mentors to place their doctoral hoods over their shoulders, symbolizing the transition into the profession of medicine. Then, with diplomas in hand, they were congratulated by Dean Reboli, sealing their journey at CMSRU.

Finally, William Kocher, MD, senior associate dean for admissions, led the new physicians in the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath. The graduates were joined by all physicians in attendance in vowing to be fair and just healers, educators, and members of their communities.

“Congratulations, CMSRU Class of 2024,” said Reboli at the closing of the event. “The world awaits your compassion, your expertise, and your dedication to serving your patients. Go forth and make a difference, and may your stars all shine brightly as I know that they will!”

In a few weeks, CMSRU’s newly minted doctors move on to the next phase of their medical education as first-year residents. They join the nearly 630 CMSRU alumni now training and providing healthcare at hospitals and medical centers across the country.