Tripler hosts 2012 GPHE graduation
June 21, 2012
HONOLULU -- Tripler Army Medical Center hosted its annual Graduate Professional Health Education Commencement ceremony, here, June 15.
One hundred and fourteen health care professionals were awarded diplomas during the ceremony. The class consisted of 101 Army officers, one Air Force officer and 12 civilians. There are 98 physicians, 13 psychologists, two pharmacists and one health care administrator. Five of the physicians are civilian residents sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Tripler has 13 physician training programs with 220 resident positions.
Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander general, Pacific Regional Medical Command and TAMC, addressed the graduates during the ceremony and gave opening remarks.
Gallagher acknowledged the long hours, hard work and dedication put forth by the class of 2012.
"As your commander, I want to thank you for embracing our TAMC vision for being the most trusted organization in the world," Gallagher said. "You have learned the importance of building that relationship with every patient and with each other.
"You have learned how significant that trust becomes and have witnessed firsthand how much the patients cherish this relationship, your advice and the engagement established by you and your team," Gallagher added.
The ceremony's keynote speaker is no stranger to military graduate medical education. During his 26 years of service in the U.S. Army, Dr. Emmanuel Cassimatis, current president and chief executive officer of the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and chair of the board of directors for Foundation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, served as director of Psychiatry Residency Training at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Director of Medical Education for the U.S. Army Medical Department.
"Globally speaking you are in a small, very fortunate minority (and) I know it is not always easy," Cassimatis said. "Frequent deployments in recent years have provided those of you in the military with the opportunity to repeatedly practice … good medicine in bad places.
"Bad places can be dangerous places and they are far away, but they are not far from your colleagues, those who work with you and support you," Cassimatis added. "(We deploy with those) who, for all our sakes, put themselves in harm's way. And we need to treat their wounds and illnesses so that they can survive those bad places and come back alive to their loved ones."
Cassimatis is proud to have worked with military medical education during his service.
"I remember when I was chief of medical education for the Army in the early 90s and I came across several papers comparing residency programs in different specialties and categories," Cassimatis said. "In Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine and many other specialties, military programs, again and again, scored ahead of university programs and all other program categories."
Forty of the military graduates will move to operational assignments in Korea, Germany, Honduras, Alaska, the mainland or stay here in Hawaii. Sixty-two Army graduates and four civilian graduates will continue additional residency or fellowship training beginning in July. The remaining eight civilian graduates will start new jobs or pursue other professional and personal goals.