First Dual-degree MPH/PA Students Graduate

Thomas De Vries and Laura Cronin became the first two students to complete the physician’s associate (PA) and public health dual-degree program at Yale’s medical school. The achievement was recognized Monday at the PA program’s 40th commencement in Woolsey Hall.

De Vries told his fellow students that some medical advice from the 1500s holds true today—practice “swiftly, pleasantly, safely.”

De Vries was selected by his peers to give the student address in which he shared life lessons learned during his psychiatric rotation. De Vries said he was inspired by the artwork that was on display in that facility. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain,” he quoted.

In her commencement address, Lt. Col. Pamela Lucas, USAF commanding officer of the Air Force Medical Element, urged graduates to never become complacent and to speak up and make change.  

Thirty-four students were granted degrees by medical school Dean Robert Alpern and David Brissette, the PA interim program director.

This article was submitted by Denise L Meyer on December 12, 2012.

Thomas De Vries
Laura Cronin receives her diploma from Dean Alpern

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Robert J Alpern

Ensign Professor of Medicine (Nephrology)

David Brissette

Assistant Professor in the Physician Associate Program, Department of Medicine