GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

MCW-Green Bay students graduate online, prepare to start careers during pandemic

Coronavirus

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Medical College of Wisconsin Green Bay students worked for years to reach their Commencement Ceremony and officially become doctors.

“It represents truly an exceptional achievement on their part,” Dr. Matthew Hunsaker, MCW-Green Bay Founding Campus Dean said.

That achievement was celebrated online.

“We elected to do [the ceremony] virtually,” Dr. Hunsaker explained, “and tried to minimize the interactions between those who were a part of our ceremony today.”

The commencement ceremony was streamed live online and was a lot like any other graduation ceremony.

There were speeches, students were recognized, and the students took their Physicians’ Pledge.

Even with all the trappings , it was a very different ceremony than the graduates had imagined.

“No one expected that we wouldn’t be able to celebrate with our whole class or anything like that when we finished,” Dr. Collin Hess, an MCW-Green Bay graduate said.

The ceremony is indicative of the new world the newly minted doctors are stepping into.

“Entering into residency and starting my medical career in the middle of a pandemic, it’s pretty crazy,” Dr. Hess said. “I never would have expected that.”

“They’re coming into an environment where healthcare is more politicized than it ever has been,” Dr. Ashok Rai, President & CEO of Prevea Health said of the situation, “but more needed than it ever has been.”

Dr. Rai says the pandemic has had an impact on everyone in the healthcare community.

“It will effect all of our careers going forward,” he said. “I think for the graduating class it’s going to impact them differently with a little bit of uncertainty.”

The times are uncertain, but these graduates are ready to become residents.

“Good opportunities to learn, make sure they have opportunities to work with patients and everything else,” Dr. Hess said. “I’m really excited about it.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY IN FULL.

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