Johns Hopkins All Children’s Celebrates 2022 Residency Graduation

Over the past three years, the 12 graduating Johns Hopkins All Children’s residents overcame the challenges of the pandemic.

The residency class of 2022.

The residency class of 2022.

Published in Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital - Summer 2022

When they stepped onto the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital campus in the summer of 2019, the pediatric residents had no idea what would come at them in just a few months and how profoundly it would impact their medical education experience.

No one did.

But by the end of that year, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was spreading. Suddenly, everyone — medical degree or not — was studying virology. The virus that causes COVID-19 altered their learning experience as virtual learning replaced in-person lectures. It affected their patient populations with fewer patients in some areas and more in others. Masks created challenges in interacting with patients and families.

Through it all, the 12 residents who graduated Saturday at the Morean Center for Clay in St. Petersburg, Florida, persevered. And George Jallo, M.D., knows how.

“I will use only one word to describe these graduates,” says Jallo, vice dean and physician in chief at Johns Hopkins All Children’s. “Exceptional or exceptionalism is the tendency to deviate from the norm, extraordinary, rare, superior. Exceptional individuals do not cut corners, they embrace opportunities for self-improvement and give their best effort in everything they do. 

“Exceptionalism is a person of integrity and this cannot be taught in textbooks, hospital wards or classrooms. It is something to which you subscribe. Exceptionalism is no accident, as it manifests itself when sheer will, preparedness and opportunity meet. Each and every one of our graduates has demonstrated this trait of being exceptional.”Little Emilia's mother, Alexa Roberts, M.D, was among the graduating residents.

Jallo’s remarks came at the first fully in-person residency graduation since 2019. The event was outdoors at the renovated 1926 former railway depot.

Little Emilia's mother, Alexa Roberts, M.D, was among the graduating residents.
Little Emilia's mother, Alexa Roberts, M.D, was among the graduating residents.

Akshata Hopkins, M.D., director of the residency program, says this class of residents is special in many ways.

“I am reminded of an old Japanese proverb, ‘Ichigo Ichie’ — We must value each moment like a beautiful treasure,” Hopkins says. “It has been an honor to witness these moments alongside you over the last three years. Through moments of uncertainty, you have embraced the unexpected with grit and grace. In moments of challenge, your class has role modeled the need to harness individual and collective power and strength, recognize our similarities, and seek to understand our differences. In moments of painful hard truths, your class has helped foster allyship, compassionately leveraged privilege for peers and future generations. It can feel unsurmountable; but if any class has taught us about doing hard things, the power in practicing self-care and having grace with complexity, it is your class. Congratulations to the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Class of 2022 — you arrived as physicians, and you are now pediatricians!”

Along with diplomas for the graduates, several received awards, including:

  • Resident of the Year: Alexa Roberts, M.D.
  • Resident Advocate of the Year: Vincent Alexander, M.D.
  • Resident Scholar of the Year: Alexa Roberts, M.D.
  • Allen W. Root, M.D., Award for Continuous Excellence in Residency: Courtney Alvis, M.D.

Jallo concluded his remarks by congratulating the graduates and reminding them their journey is ongoing.

“We congratulate and salute you,” he says. “Just remember, your studies might be over but the process of learning will never end. You are unstoppable and will continue to succeed. Do not get ready. BE ready for all the world has to offer you and adapt accordingly. And, remember in this time of uncertainty, life is a journey — not a destination — which requires continuous growth and elevation.”

2022 Johns Hopkins All Children’s Residency Program Graduates

Vincent Alexander, M.D.: Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Courtney Alvis, M.D.: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Georgina Appiah-Pippim, M.D.: General Pediatrics at Tampa Family Health Centers

Amanda Borden, M.D.: General Pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente Manassas Medical Center, Manassas, Virginia

Rekha Gupta, M.D.: Neonatology Fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta

Alan Lu, M.D.: Genetics Fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Hannah McAtee, M.D.: Chief Resident then Palliative and Hospice Medicine Fellowship, Johns Hopkins All Children’s

Rory Mills, M.D.: General Pediatrics at North Pinellas Children’s Medical Center in Trinity

Priya Patel, M.D.: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Fellowship at University of South Florida

Alexa Roberts, M.D.: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Jenna Sirmans, M.D.: General Pediatrics at Palmetto Pediatrics of the Low Country, Okatie and Hilton Head, S.C.

Morgan Smith, M.D.: Chief Resident then Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship, Johns Hopkins All Children’s