HONOLULU - Tripler Army Medical Center honors the 2018 graduating class of health care professionals by hosting a Graduate Professional Health Education Commencement, June 15.

Commander of Tripler Army Medical Center, Col. Andrew M. Barr provided opening remarks, "Today we celebrate and recognize the dedication and accomplishments of our residents in medical, surgical, and behavioral health graduate medical education programs, and our psychology, social work, pharmacy, and anesthesia nursing programs."

As the Pacific region's premier teaching hospital, Tripler is a major teaching facility that sponsors 12 accredited physician training programs with 243 approved resident positions, producing 15 percent of the Army's licensed physicians annually.

Over 120 post-graduates complete fellowship, residency, and internship training every year with the vast majority being physicians of various medical and surgical specialties.

This training is significant because physicians completing fellowships and residencies become eligible for board certification in their specialty or subspecialties.

"It is the graduate medical education and training missions at Tripler that set us apart from others, and stands as a primary and critical component to our health care mission," said Barr.

The 2018 graduating class consists of 126 health care professionals comprised of 112 physicians, five psychologists, three nurse anesthetists, three social workers, two pharmacists, and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon; 114 U.S. Army officers, one U.S. Air Force officer, and 13 civilians.

Twelve of the physicians are civilian residents appointed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and one graduating pharmacist is an affiliate faculty member of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

In addition to its 12 physician training programs, Tripler trains more than 300 other students throughout the year and sponsors accredited programs in clinical psychology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and pharmacy, and is affiliated with accredited graduate programs for nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, and health care administrators.

Tripler conducts a military clinical psychology residency and a military social work internship which qualifies program graduates for full licensure in their respective disciplines; and also participates in a joint Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship sponsored by the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai`i at Manoa.

TAMC's focus on education and research enables its staff to offer the most advanced care, services, and technology in delivering health care.

"The Army's number one priority remains readiness," explained Barr. "Tripler Army Medical Center is proud to support the medical readiness of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard. And in so doing, remain a highly trained medical force prepared to respond in a moment's notice wherever our nation needs us."

To the graduates, Barr said, "Always remember to embrace the team, never stop learning, and focus on the patient above all else - with this, you cannot go wrong."