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Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine Celebrates Inaugural Graduating Class

Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | 5:56 am

The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM) in Pasadena celebrated the graduation of its inaugural class on Monday, May 13, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

The school, named after the late Bernard J. Tyson, former Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO, is committed to promoting diversity in medical education, achieving health equity, and eliminating health disparities, according to a statement from the school.

Two-time NBA Hall of Famer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Earvin “Magic” Johnson delivered the guest commencement address. 

“When you represent this name (of Bernard J. Tyson), it’s not about money you make, but about making change,” Johnson said. “I want you to go out there and change the world step by step. Nobody will remember you being a doctor… what they will remember is how many people you touched.”

Johnson became a public health advocate after announcing he was HIV positive in 1991. He continues to foster authentic conversations about health, serves as a voice for marginalized communities, and addresses racial disparities in healthcare.

The school confirmed that 100% of the graduating students matched to residency programs, with the most matched programs including internal medicine, emergency medicine and family medicine.

“Four years ago, we set out to provide a world-class medical education as we welcomed our first class of students,” said Dr. Mark Schuster, KPSOM founding dean and CEO. “I am filled with pride as I reflect upon their achievements and celebrate how they have developed the qualities that define the best physicians.”

KPSOM offers a curriculum that emphasizes a holistic view of health, integrating biomedical science, clinical science and health systems science. Students begin clinical training within the first three weeks, compared with the second year in traditional medical school programs.

The school incorporates innovative educational practices, including a multimodal anatomy program utilizing cutting-edge technology and anatomical structures preserved by plastination in the Anatomy Resource Center (ARC).

“This is an incredible moment for our students and school,” said Dr. Lindia Willies-Jacobo, Senior Associate Dean for Admissions and Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at KPSOM. “This group of students, faculty and staff came together with a shared mission and purpose centered on medical education that ignites a passion for learning, a desire to serve and a commitment to improve the health and well-being of patients and their communities.”

Lucas Saporito, the student commencement speaker, said he was excited to be starting his specialty-specific training and was sad to see his time in medical school come to a close. 

“I embrace the challenges ahead of me and… am proud of all my classmates who will be doing fabulous things across the country,” Saporito said. “Each of us has been given a unique opportunity to leverage our strengths for the good of others, and I know we have the skills to take advantage of this opportunity.” 

The class that graduated Monday started medical school in July 2020. 

KPSOM’s curriculum is aimed at teaching future physicians the knowledge and skills essential to providing the highest quality patient care and transforming the nation’s healthcare system.

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