The Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell celebrated the graduation of its newest physicians and scientists at a ceremony held on Monday, May 14, at the Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater, John Cranford Adams Playhouse at Hofstra University.
Totaling 91 students, including the school’s first combined MD/PhD recipients, the Zucker School of Medicine’s fourth class of alumni feature a diverse group of men and women with varied backgrounds and stories leading up to their careers in medicine.
The distinct group (pictured above, left to right) includes an inventor whose science and business savvy came together to develop an efficient, daily-use product to keep lab coats sanitized; a student raised by her grandparents on the south side of Chicago who plans to give back and inspire her community; a naval officer sworn to a new rank as Lieutenant; a mom-to-be who, at nine months pregnant, proudly processed the aisle to receive her medical degree (not pictured); and an actor now doctor whose theater credits include playing the lead role in an acclaimed national tour of “Oliver!” when he was a child.
“Today we celebrate the individuals of the graduating Class of 2018,” said student speaker, Danielle Aronowitz, MD, during her commencement speech. “No matter where we go, we will never forget where we came from and who we learned from.”
Commencement proceedings were presided by Stuart Rabinowitz, President of Hofstra University; Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health, and Lawrence G. Smith, MD, MACP, Dean of the Zucker School of Medicine. Also attending their first commencement ceremony as the medical school’s new namesake was Donald and Barbara Zucker, long-time New York philanthropists and Northwell Health’s leading lifetime donors who bestowed $61 million in support of the next generation of professionals in medicine, research, and nursing, a generous gift that earmarked $50 million for medical student scholarships. The Zucker School of Medicine (formerly Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine) was renamed in the couple’s honor last fall in recognition of their advocacy toward the advancement of healthcare and education.
“It is important to remember the people to thank for today who are not in this audience—your patients,” said Dean Smith in his address. “Each day, your connection, attention, and care of people will make the journey [in medicine] all worthwhile—one patient at a time.”
In July, Zucker School of Medicine 2018 alumni will enter residency programs within 15 different states and 22 specialty areas across the United States, including 29 newly minted physicians who will begin their careers at Northwell Health.