Portsmouth, Va. (NNS) -- The Emergency Medicine Residency Program of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth graduated the 2013 class of residents June 26 amidst friends, family and colleagues.
The eight members of the class have completed their undergraduate degree, medical school, internship, and three years as a resident to become a specialist in medical emergencies.
Army Lt. Col. Dave Barry, EM Residency director, reflected on how the class persevered through challenges they confronted during the program. That included their grueling clinical schedule working up to 80 hours a week.
"When I sat back and reflected on the spirit of this graduating class, what came to mind was perseverance," said Barry. "While balancing arduous study requirements with demands of family and personal needs, they persevered and adapted to the sudden loss of a program coordinator and accepted additional administrative responsibility without question or complaint."
The class faced many challenges: administrative responsibilities, sequestration, budget cuts, demands of family, personal needs and the loss of a system program director added to their already demanding residency program.
"The biggest challenge was during our second year. We lost our system program director. She died suddenly and unexpectedly," said Lt. Cmdr. Diana Macian, one of the graduates. "Our program really was left with a void for a good year, so we really had to band together as a class."
The residents chose the guest speaker at their graduation, this year selecting Capt. James V. Richie, an emergency medicine faculty member who was previously the Simulation Center Medical Director at NMCP. He assured the graduates that they will have an impact in medicine.
"I've watched you guys do amazing things. I've watched you choose right over popularity. On the floor, I've seen you choose work over ease; I've watched you choose honesty over acclaim, and I've seen you succeed," Ritchie said. He went on to give a candid account of his experiences in Afghanistan treating casualties from both sides of the conflict. Ritchie said he was pleased to have been chosen to speak at the graduation; it was his last action before retiring in August.
Class members recognized some of NMCP's outstanding staff with the Junior and Senior Hospital Corpsman Award, Junior and Senior Nurse Award and Junior and Senior Faculty Award. Also Emergency Physicians of Tidewater, Riverside Regional Medical Center and Sentara Norfolk General Burn Trauma Unit were presented with the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award.
Ritchie did not win an award, however, one is named for him - The Capt. James V. Richie Award for Outstanding Senior Faculty Teacher because he won so many times in the past. The downside is he is now ineligible to receive it.
Among the graduates, Lt. Cmdr. Sean Conley received the Nurses' Choice Award for Outstanding Senior Resident Award, the Resident Research Award and the Honor Graduate Award. Lt. Cmdr. Eric Draper received the Academic Excellence Award.
After the certificates were presented, the ceremony ended with a reception for the graduates and their families and friends.
The EM Residency Program Class of 2013 also included: Lt. Cmdr. Martin Arrisueno, Lt. Joshua Handburry, Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Johnson, Lt. David Lamborn, and Lt. Cmdr. Shannon Reeve.
One graduate will remain on staff at NMCP; the other seven will serve around the world as specialists in Emergency Medicine at 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, N.C.; U.S. Naval Hospital Guam; U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan; U.S. Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy; Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, Indian Head, Md.; and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.
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