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2019 Graduation Gallery


[Daniel Harrington, vice dean]: Good morning and welcome to all of our guests who have joined us today in this beautiful historic venue which has become a tradition to celebrate the commencement ceremony of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine honoring our sixth graduating class the class of 2019.

[Tim Sands, president, Virginia Tech]: On behalf of the Virginia Tech administration faculty and staff across the Commonwealth congratulations on achieving this milestone and I'm delighted to be here today to honor the first doctors to graduate from VTC since it has become Virginia Tech's ninth college.

[Daniel Harrington]: It is you, our students, who are continuing to build a reputation that is consistent with the vision of Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine as a research intensive medical school.

[Andrew Barr, class of 2019]: If VTC has taught us anything is that this vocation must be experienced to be fulfilling so to my friends to the VTC class of 2019 with love let's leave this auditorium and do well but more importantly do good.


[Nathan Zinman, class of 2019]: This level of blind caring that I experienced on day one it's a value that I would find to be instilled at VTC from top to bottom.

[Katie Trigonis, alumni speaker, class of 2016]: As VTC graduates you are prepared to be outstanding. You will win awards. But the best compliments of all will come from your patients when they say thank you for taking the time to answer their questions and teach them what's happening in their bodies.

[Nancy Howell Agee, president and CEO, Carilion Clinic]: If our patients teach us one thing it's that life is precious and there are no guarantees. Focus on the things that really matter. Life isn't about the years it's about the moments and you're having one. I cannot tell you how proud of you we are.

[Daniel Harrington]: Upon the recommendation of the faculty of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and by the virtue of the authority vested in me, I hereby confer upon each of you the degree of Doctor of Medicine with all rights powers and privileges pertaining there unto. 

First two VTCSOM graduates to enter Ophthalmology

Two members of the class of 2019 marked off a "first" for our college. Andy Plaster and Tim Nguyen are our first students to match into ophthalmology. 

Video Transcript

[Tim Nguyen, class of 2019]: For my intern year, I will be here at Carilion Clinic Internal Medicine and after which I'm headed to University of Florida for Ophthalmology

[Andy Plaster, class of 2019]: We matched in Ophthalmology at San Antonio Military Medical Center.

[Aubrey Knight, senior dean for student affairs]: The class of 2019 is the first class where we've had graduating students to match into ophthalmology and this is the last of the major specialties that that we've not had a student to match in prior to this year so we're very excited about that.

[Tim]: Ophthalmology was the first kind of specialty that introduced me to medicine and when I really like was was smitten by it was when I saw a patient's eyes under using a slit lamp for the first time and it was just it was just incredible. Ever since then it was like I need to see more.

[Andy]: I didn't know coming in that I want to do it. Tim told me "why don't you just try it.  Two weeks of ophthalmology, how bad can it be? Just give it a try." Because I had never even considered it before so I picked a two week elective in ophthalmology and loved it I loved the cataract surgery and just how dramatic that change could be. That was definitely huge draw of ophthalmology is how quickly you can make an impact in so many people's lives.

[Dr. Knight]: Nothing is definite especially when you consider the competitiveness of this particular specialty so our responsibility was that we would do everything in the power of the institution to support that interest.

[Tim]: I felt like vtc would be an environment that would allow me to chase my curiosities and the things that I was interested in you have such a close relationship with the faculty and staff of the school I just felt like they would invest more in me as a student so that I can achieve my my future goals.

[Andy]: Folks at the school helped us create an elective that would teach us some advanced ophthalmology skills prior to residency and then just to watch the ophthalmologists themselves cutting time out of their busy days to teach us these skills in the midst of everything else going on just really spoke to how committed the school was and also all the physicians that were participating in our clerkship.

[Dr. Knight]: Regardless of the specialty that they chose Tim Nguyen and Andy Plaster were out there too to serve and that's the rare thing these days.

[Andy]: There's many qualified folks that could have just as easily had taken this boss that we had we both talked about this and just that the word that came to both our minds was grateful.

[Tim]: That's the type of doctor I want to be.

Photo Gallery

Full-length Graduation Ceremony