May 26, 2022 was a day of much anticipation in Manipal’s American University of Antigua, College of Medicine (AUA) as they celebrated the Commencement Day for the class of 2022. This was the first in-person celebration since 2019 due to the pandemic. When the students entered this medical school, none of them predicted these last two years. Medical school journey is not an easy one. It is replete with challenges. The global pandemic accentuated the challenges.
Along with the class of 2022, this commencement day saw few graduates from 2020 as well as 2021 join the ceremony with gusto. This uniqueness added to the mood of the big celebration. This year’s valedictorian Megan Brooker said, “We overcame the incredible challenge of the global pandemic in the middle of our clinical studies. Congratulations to the class of 2022 as well as those who are here from the class of 2020 & 2021. Our futures are bright!”
Neal Simon, AUA President congratulated the graduates and said, “You have worked very hard during very difficult times to obtain your Doctor of Medicine. AUA’s staff, faculty, and its Deans are extremely proud of you as you should be proud of yourselves.”
AUA was created with the mission to provide superior medical education to the students committed to highest standards of learning and catering to the projected global shortage of physicians. The institution is committed to grooming their medical graduates into skilled, ethical and caring physicians; and breaking down barriers that have prevented the underrepresented minorities from obtaining a medical education. A study projects that the global physician workforce lacks sufficient diversity and inclusion. The pandemic has brought to the fore, the enormous extent of inequitable access to care at a time when the need for health care has been acutely high. The projections indicate little growth in the supply of surgeons across many surgical specialties. The projected shortage of physicians is pointing out to bring in more diverse and inclusive physician workforce.
The auditorium reverberated with thundering applause from an emotionally overwhelmed audience that consisted of AUA faculty, deans, alumni, families and graduates of 2022 along with those of 2020 & 2021. As over 200 graduates enter the global physician workforce as a strong resource of trained physicians and healthcare professionals, Manipal’s American University of Antigua takes pride in contributing to combating the projected shortage of physicians.