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May 20 2013

NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine Celebrates Hooding of 284 Graduates

Three new doctors

Gilliar and Elaine Zhai Old Westbury, NY  (May 20, 2013) – New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine’s 284 graduates received doctoral hoods and accolades this morning as they were honored for their hard work, compassion, and dedication to health care.

View the photo gallery.

“Whether you go on to become pediatricians or physicians who provide the set of services known as primary care, or whether you venture into public policy or another specialty, know that you can make an incredible impact on the health of others,” said NYIT President Edward Guiliano, Ph.D.  in his address to the students.
Guiliano noted that many students had already done that through their clerkships, service abroad, and numerous fundraisers and activities that “have demonstrated the human connection that is so vital to your field.”
On July 1, the graduates will begin their residencies at hospitals and institutions across the country. 
Keynote Speaker Otis Webb Brawley, M.D., chief medical and scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society, told the group that their challenges include stopping the trend of chronic disease and facing the changing economics of medicine.
He challenged them to “value science, the scientific method, and learning,” and to be curious. Brawley also reminded the new doctors that they will see patients often facing the greatest challenges in their lives.
Brawley received an honorary degree at NYIT's 52nd Commencement on Sunday.
Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O., announced that each medical school graduate would receive a copy of Brawley's book, How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. The book reveals overtreatment and undertreatment in our healthcare system, along with other systemic problems that hurt patients and undercut quality care.
Dean Wolfgang Gilliar, D.O., urged the graduates to “think health, think health prevention” and to connect and engage with their patients as they practice “high-touch” medicine that stimulates the power of self-healing. 
“You have learned the first steps of care and caring while I am sure you continue searching for a cure,” Gilliar said. “ 
Gilliar also advised the students to take a theater class to help them sharpen their skills of focus and observation. 
“If you develop the ability to understand the environment around you…you will have the power to create that environment rather than reacting to it,” he said. “Hop on your new train with competence, confidence, and compassion.”
Gilliar administered the osteopathic oath to the graduates. He also announced winners of several achievement awards, including the Dean’s Achievement Award for overall academic excellence, which was presented to Elaine Zhai, D.O. 
Otis Webb BrawleyIn emotional moments of pride and exuberance, punctuated by whoops and whistles from family and friends who packed the Tilles Center for Performing Arts, the new doctors walked across the stage and ducked their heads as doctoral hoods were draped around their shoulders. Many were hooded by family members who are also physicians. One beaming father hooded his daughter, picked her up, and twirled her in a circle before moving to shake hands with NYIT administrators.
Class President Sriniketh Sundar, D.O., also winner of the Alumni Association Award, advised his classmates to be open to change, have fun, practice humility and kindness, and periodically reassess.
“We must remember," Sundar said, "that our ultimate goal is to provide quality and compassionate care to our patients."
About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 95,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit
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