Letters from Student Senate

To the Class of 2020:

Your class senate expresses our congratulations to you for your graduation! This is surely a proud moment for you, your family, friends and colleagues as you begin your career as a physician, especially during this unique moment in medical history.

You are becoming a physician during a pandemic which will change the way people live their daily lives, interact with each other, and ultimately, the way we practice medicine. You have the potential to make a lasting impact within your chosen specialty and we all have no doubt that you certainly will.

As we move forward, we will remember our times in medical school fondly, and hope to follow your career closely with excitement.

"I am humbled and proud to be graduating with this cohort of outstanding physicians. Our classmates have accomplished so many great things in such a short amount of time. We have changed the landscape of medicine through enacting legislation, remarkable research, community engagement, academic excellence and more. Every classmate I have interacted with has left me inspired by their passion, ingenuity and resilience. It has been an honor serving as your president, and I hope to stay in touch with every one of you as we establish ourselves as experts in our respective fields. See you at the reunions!" 

David J. Gelovani
Class of 2020

As the Executive President of WSUSOM's Student Senate in 2016, I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the Class of 2020 during the M1 orientation. I am now in a unique position to also provide some parting words as I join your class in celebrating our graduation from medical school. We all have undergone tremendous growth not only from navigating through the basic science and clinical curriculum, but also by being challenged by our administration and stepping up to meet the demands of our communities and patients. During my welcome speech, I challenged you all to empower your communities and networks and be agents of change. As we all reflect on the past 4+ years here at WSUSOM, I just want to remind you of the message I posed to you all, but updated as we continue our journey in residency:

"Be a CHANGE AGENT: As we navigated through WSUSOM, things did not always work out as we expected. Did you meet the challenge of bringing solutions to the table, and not just identifying areas that needed improvement?

"Be a NURTURER OF COMMUNITY: At this point, medical school may have been the most challenging hurdle you have faced. Were you able to foster your primary support network (friends, family, and most importantly, your peers that struggled with you at WSUSOM) to cultivate your growth? Continue to foster your network of mentors, counselors, and attending physicians that will one day be your colleagues. Additionally, foster your community of patients – they will always need someone to advocate for their needs. This duty was bestowed upon us when we all received our (short) white coat – that simple garment imparts respect and trust from our patients. Nurture all the communities important for your development.

"Be COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE: Medical school may have been a beast and old habits from undergrad or graduate school may not have worked. Being disruptive with yourself, trying different things, asking for help – these are signs of growth and maturity. Recognizing you need to improve upon something is not a weakness – it's a strength. Your student senate and community here looked to provide a safe space for you to hone your skills to be a Warrior MD. I hope you were able to foster a community of support that enabled and encouraged you – they will be your confidants and pillars as we transition to residency." Jay T. Llaniguez, Class Representative

As a Class Representative turned VP, I have had the distinct honor of working with you all on various tasks and changes at our medical school over the past four years. We endured LCME visits, Immunology and Microbiology, and more changes in leadership than Congress in the past 50 years. But as I spend these last precious weeks a "free" man holed up in my childhood home, I realize that these obstacles we have overcome will not make up the majority of lasting memories of my time at WSUSOM.

The unforgettable moments were those spent alongside you all in the most challenging, yet rewarding, years of my life. Observing total knee replacements with Ginny and Max despite us barely being able to see anything in the OR during our summer externship. Dancing with Leigh, Alec, and Carson at Level 2 following I don't even know what exam. Going to church with Erin to literally pray to pass our cardiovascular pathophysiology exam. Spending hours rehearsing and filming for Lampoon with John, Nicole, Alec, Ayesha, Kyle, Nadim, and Uche. I could fill a book with these moments.

Other than the friendships and memories made, I have one point of pride I hope to look back on when reflecting on my time in Detroit: the privilege of becoming a physician. We often lose sight of this amazing career we are to set forth on. It can be easy to judge ourselves and become jaded when we do not take a moment to reflect on the elite company we are in. Such a small percentage of people have the intellect, determination, heart, and soul to succeed in the ways that we have. I have heard multiple doctors say, "You will have learned and forgotten more information in four years than most people will learn their entire lives." I do not know if this is true, but I do know how proud I am of myself and my classmates for persevering through it all.

No matter what challenges lie ahead, remember you are human, you are brilliant, and you are on this earth for a reason. We have a marathon ahead of us. Remember to stop, drink water, and smell the roses along the way.

Anthony M. Lemieux
Vice President
Class of 2020 

Seeing everyone's posts on social media of how they have finished these past four years has been a shot of nostalgia straight to the veins for me. Pictures of classmates during orientation week, in the MD labs, post-step exams, and all the moments in between has reminded me of the sense of community we have had here at Wayne the past four years. It wasn't always fun, we weren't always smiling, but thinking of all the people I've met and memories I've made makes me swell with pride and excitement for all of our future accomplishments. 

I was really hoping to be able to put on an incredible senior week and match day party, which is basically the vast majority of my job as treasurer, but unfortunately, things didn't work out as planned. I just want you to know how incredible my time with you all has been. I am so thankful I decided to run for this position after somehow thinking the first unit of med school wasn't already more than I could handle, but I am also so thankful to have had your trust and support since then. 

Though we won't all be near each other anymore, I can't wait to see and hear all the amazing things Wayne's class of 2020 accomplishes.

Alexander Poznanski
Class of 2020