Western University graduates 156 new medical doctors Friday

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Graduates Andrea Lo and Michael Verbora of the Meds Class of 2013 exemplify the leadership qualities that Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry strives to instill in each of its students. The two are among 156 students who will receive their Doctor of Medicine degree during a convocation ceremony on Friday, May 17th starting at 9:30 a.m. at Alumni Hall. During their four years of medical school, the students have been active in various health initiatives, both in their own communities and in more remote parts of the world, demonstrating a true sense of social responsibility.

Lo is one of 30 graduates who spent their four years of undergraduate medical training in the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry-Windsor Program. She founded two major student-driven initiatives: the Schulich Windsor Health Lecture Series and The COPD Wellness Clinic. The lecture series helped to foster an environment of collaboration between physicians and the student body while engaging the public in discussions on trending health topics. Lo will do her residency in family medicine at the University of Toronto.

Verbora was elected class president on two occasions, as well as the Hippocratic Council president, where he worked tirelessly to improve the educational and extracurricular experience for medical students. He started the first ever Hippo Innovator Grant, and spearheaded a mentorship program to match undergraduate students interested in medicine with medical students. As well, he travelled to South Africa and Guatemala to work in health clinics. Verbora is pursuing family medicine with an added year in emergency medicine at the University of Toronto.

The former dean of the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Joseph Martin, will be presented with a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, during the ceremony, in recognition of his accomplishments. Dr. Martin is the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard, and led its medical school as dean from 1997-2007. He also established the National Institute of Health-sponsored Huntington Disease Center in 1980. Its mission is to achieve a better understanding of the causes of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, and already it's made a major breakthrough by identifying the gene for Huntington's disease.

"Convocation is really just the beginning for these new doctors, who now move into the next phase of their training," says the dean of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, Dr. Michael Strong. "They've already demonstrated their leadership abilities and their sense of social responsibility; qualities that will continue to grow. I congratulate each of them on earning the right, and privilege, to be called Dr."