ECU News Services
Aug. 4, 2017
By Angela ToddUniversity Communications
The auditorium of the Brody
School of Medicine at East Carolina University was packed with family members
and excitement as members of its 41st, 4-year class were donned with white
coats in an Aug. 4 ceremony.
Students were welcomed by incoming
Brody Dean Dr. Mark Stacy, who will officially begin his new role Sept. 1.
During the ceremony – the 16th
annual ceremony of its kind at Brody – students crossed the stage one by one to
put on their white coats embroidered in purple with the Brody logo. The coats
were a gift from approximately 100 Brody alumni – ranging from the Class of
1973 to the Class of 2016. As each student was “cloaked,” he or she was handed
a note of encouragement or advice penned by one of the alumni.
Delivering the keynote speech was
Dr. William Burke, a 1983 Brody graduate and current dermatology professor.
Burke advised the students to
keep four things in mind. “There are a few things you need to be a good doctor,
and being brilliant isn’t one of them,” he said. “Put patient care first,
always be honest, always be compassionate and know your own limitations.”
He also encouraged them to take
time out for relaxation.
“We’re in eastern North Carolina
and there are many beautiful things to see and do,” Burke said. “Remember to
get out, relax, and ease your mind from time to time. Your studies will be
better for it.”
After students were dressed in
their new white coats, they were led in the Medical Student Pledge of Ethics by
Medical Student Council chairperson, Stephan Hansen.
All 82 students are North Carolina residents.
They were selected from 1008 applicants and represent 30 counties, from Macon
in the west to Beaufort in the east, and 23 different undergraduate
The class boasts an average undergraduate 3.6
GPA. While 42 students majored in biology, there are also African American
studies, computer science and business administration students.
The class is 52 percent female and 24 students are minorities.
“It’s really exceptional that as
a Latino, he made it to medical school,” said Jenny Fischetti of her cousin and
incoming student Alberto Castro. “He’s been wanting to be a doctor since he was
10. He’s always had a love for this and has always worked hard. We’re so
excited and proud for the things to come for him.”
Castro’s little brother Eduardo
has nothing but confidence in his sibling. “This won’t be a challenge for him
because he has so much passion for medicine,” he said.
“It’s the beginning of my
lifelong dream,” said incoming student Alexander Young. “I’ve always worked
towards this and I think helping others…is the most important thing you can do.
I can remember thinking that ever since I was four or five.”
Breana Boyd, who’s interested in
pursuing a surgery career said she was excited to get started. “I can’t wait to
continue learning from the diverse people and resources that are available here,”
Physicians run in the family for first-year
student Jennifer Awuku. Her father, Dr. Martin Agbemabiese, was thrilled to
watch her begin her own medical journey.
“She’s always wanted to help the
underserved, so Brody is exactly where she needs to be,” he said. “She’s
naturally kind and humble. And we’ve always taught her to do unto others as
you’d have them do unto you. We’re excited to see her make an impact on the
Students will earn an M.D. degree
at the Brody School of Medicine before going on to residencies – additional
years of medical training – in various specialties.
first two years of medical school are classroom-based and encompass basic
sciences, ethics and exposure to primary care and doctoring. Year three
consists of a series of predetermined clinical clerkships, and the fourth year
allows for more individualized clinical experiences. Much of the clinical
training occurs away from Brody in rural health care settings across eastern