May 24, 2010-Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., a leading health policy advisor in the Obama administration, will address graduates at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s 115th convocation on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore.

An oncologist who also heads the Department of Bioethics at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, Emanuel was chosen to be the guest speaker by the Class of 2010’s 234 M.D., Ph.D., M.A. and M.S. recipients.

Emanuel has published widely on the ethics of clinical research, health care reform, international research ethics, end-of-life care issues, euthanasia, the ethics of managed care, and the physician-patient relationship in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, JAMA, and many other medical journals. His book on medical ethics, The Ends of Human Life, has been widely praised and received honorable mention for the Rosenhaupt Memorial Book Award by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

He developed The Medical Directive, a comprehensive living will that has been endorsed by Consumer Reports on Health, Harvard Health Letter, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications

Emanuel, who served on President Clinton's Health Care Task Force, is currently a special advisor for health policy to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

This year’s ceremonies will bestow 118 M.D.s, 100 Ph.D.s, 12 M.A.s, and four M.S.s. The class is the 115th since the school opened in 1893 and the M.D. candidates plan to continue postgraduate residency training at 54 hospitals and medical institutions in 22 states and Quebec, Canada. Entry into the School of Medicine remains highly competitive, with 3,665 applicants for 120 slots in this fall’s entering class.

“The class of 2010 is another in the long line of excellence exhibited by students graduating from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine,” said David G. Nichols, M.D., the school’s vice dean for education. “Our entire school shares a sense of pride in the accomplishments of these amazing young doctors.”

Among the graduates earning medical degrees on Thursday:

• Phebe Ko, of Salt Lake City, UT, a top-flight marathon runner, who recently qualified for her second U.S. Olympic Trials, to take place in Houston in January 2012. Her personal best in the marathon is 2 hours, 41 minutes. The Duke University graduate will complete her residency in anesthesiology at the University of California-San Francisco.

• Carolyn Senger, of Okemos, Michigan, a professional opera singer who has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, sung with the Michigan Opera Theatre, and whose singing can be heard on an album which won three Grammy Awards. Senger earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Michigan — one in vocal performance and one in biopsychology — and matched at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, for residency training in anesthesiology.

• Sahael Stapleton, from rural Quartz Hill, California, whose decision to be a doctor was crystallized after his junior year at UCLA when he volunteered at the site of the World Trade Center attacks. The only child of a single mother, he dropped the volleyball scholarship he relied on to pay his way through school and moved into the lab. He would earn a prestigious Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship to investigate neuronal targeting in the developing nervous system of fruit flies. His stipend, coupled with the job he got caring for the fly stock, allowed him to finish school. He is headed to UCSF for a residency in medicine and plans to be a gastroenterologist.

In addition to Emanuel, the graduating medical students chose classmate Paul James Doherty to address them. Doherty will be among the first group of participants in Johns Hopkins’ Urban Health Residency Program, which will combine residencies in medicine and pediatrics and focus on medical issues that face those who live in the nation’s inner cities. The graduate students chose classmate Sarah Elizabeth Hemminger, who is earning her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, to be their speaker. Hemminger’s research looks at how the formation and retention of motor memory is linked to the cerebellum and the primary motor cortex.

The School of Medicine convocation for graduating students will take place the same day as Johns Hopkins’ university-wide commencement, which will take place on the university’s Homewood campus on Thursday morning.

Any members of the media who wish to speak with one of the graduating students should call Stephanie Desmon at 410-955-8665 to schedule an interview.

Media Contact: Stephanie Desmon
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