M.D. Class of 2018 celebrates friendships, family and memories at School of Medicine commencement

June 06, 2018

Pictured from left: Drs. Tanu Verma, Hania Maqbool and Phuong-Lan Nguyen, outside the Fox Theatre in Detroit on June 5, 2018.

Newly-minted Wayne State University School of Medicine alumna and physician Hania Maqbool, M.D. ’18, is not going far from home this summer – she starts an Emergency Medicine residency at the Detroit Medical Center’s Detroit Receiving Hospital in July.

But she still had to say goodbye to her 296 fellow classmates who earned the title of doctor June 5 at the School of Medicine’s commencement and hooding ceremony, held at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

“I feel like my experiences at Wayne have gone by in a flash. I’m excited to be here, with some of the best friends I’ve ever made,” she said.

She, like most of the men and women who make up the Class of 2018, started the day with photos, hugs, greetings and gifts from mothers and fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings and children at their side.
“It feels unreal,” said Tanu Verma, M.D.

Dr. Verma, one of Dr. Maqbool’s best friends and classmates, is headed to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to begin her Internal Medicine residency. “We’ve worked so hard to get here, and I’m trying to take this moment in. This is a huge accomplishment,” she said.

Family members weren’t without their goodbyes either. Toronto native Daniel Yong has spent the last four years in Detroit, and is now moving further from his parents and brother. The first-generation physician is off to Chicago for a transitional year residency before beginning his Anesthesiology residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “It’s nice to come back and see everyone one last time,” he said.

Inside, family and friends applauded, cheered and even shouted their loved ones’ names during the school’s 150th commencement, a culmination of at least eight years of higher education, Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D., reminded them.

“No other medical school in the nation offers the urban clinical excellence that Wayne State University provides,” he said. “That is what we have provided for 150 years, and what we will continue to provide for 150 years.”

Medical Alumni Association President and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Trifun Dimitrijevski, M.D.,’02, Res. ’05, was among the event’s speakers. He also taught the Class of 2018.

“It has been an absolute honor to work with you and to teach you,” he said. “In a few short years, I challenge you to be that physician who molds the next physicians.”

School of Medicine faculty, deans, department chairs, WSU President M. Roy Wilson, M.D., his cabinet members and other WSU dignitaries filled the venue stage in support of the graduates.

“Be good to medicine and medicine will be good to you,” President Wilson said. “There is no calling more sacred.”

Commencement keynote speaker, Association of American Medical Colleges President and Chief Executive Officer Darrell Kirch, M.D., received an honorary doctor of laws degree for his exceptional achievements in the medical field. He spoke of health disparities, what physicians of the future can do to help close the gap, and also shared his propensity to flash back to his own medical school experiences at commencements.

“I have memories that are so vivid. They’re crystal clear, and there’s a common theme,” he said, remembering patients who trusted him, a medical student. “They can sustain you. When you’re tired or burned out, think back on them, and think about what you have been given,” he said.

More than half of the Class of 2018 will remain in Michigan for residencies.

Graduates moving out of Michigan will practice medicine in 32 states and in Canada, at 70 hospitals, universities and medical centers.

Phuong-Lan Nguyen, will practice Pathology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Ky., but won’t forget her time at Wayne State.

“We have an amazing network,” she said, surrounded by classmates. “Wherever you go, Wayne will be with you.”