College of Medicine – Tucson Celebrates 2018 Convocation

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

WHAT: 2018 Doctors of Medicine Convocation
WHEN: 7 - 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 10
WHERE: Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. (UA Main Campus)
This event also will be live streamed beginning at 7 p.m. on the college’s Facebook page.

On Thursday evening, 114 graduates from the College of Medicine – Tucson will earn their Doctors of Medicine at a ceremony hosted in Centennial Hall.

The Class of 2018 is made up of 59 women and 55 men. Two graduates will receive dual MD-PhD degrees through the UA’s MD-PhD Program and three graduates will receive dual MD-MPH degrees through the MD-MPH Program.

More than a third of the graduates will remain in Arizona to pursue their residency training. Twenty-six graduates will continue their medical training right here in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson residency programs, serving the community where they first started on the path to becoming medical doctors.

The 2018 Convocation keynote speaker will be Fred DuVal, son of Merlin K. ‘Monte’ DuVal, the founding dean of the College of Medicine. DuVal’s address is titled, “In the Beginning…” 

Over the years, Fred has remained a major advocate for the college and the University of Arizona. He served on the board of University Medical Center (now Banner – University Medical Center) and as chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents. In addition, DuVal has spent more than 35 years in politics and public affairs. He served as senior staff aide to Governor Bruce Babbitt from 1980 to 1986 and as deputy assistant secretary of state from 1993 to 1996. As White House deputy assistant to the president for state government affairs from 1997 to 1999, he was responsible for the policy relationship between the federal government and the 50 states and governors, including welfare reform, transportation, education and other issues.

Leigh Neumayer, MD, executive dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson and UA Health Sciences interim senior vice president, will deliver the ceremony’s welcome remarks.

Additional remarks will be delivered by the 2017 Alumna of the Year Kathryn L. Reed, MD. Dr.  Reed is also the professor and head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Medical student Clark Alves will serve as the class speaker; he will pursue residency training in family medicine at the Abrazo Central Campus in Phoenix.

Charles Cairns, MD, dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson, will lead the graduating students in reciting the Hippocratic Oath.

The following are two inspirational graduates from the Class of 2018.


Growing up on a Reservation Influenced his Desire to Become a Doctor

Cubby Michael Pierre, 27, was born and raised in Arlee, Montana, on the Flathead Indian Reservation. He is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Growing up on a reservation where health care is in short supply strongly influenced his desire to become a doctor, as well his uncle who is a practicing orthopaedic surgeon.

Pierre’s high school focused on getting students to graduate, with less emphasis on going to college. Shortly after being accepted by the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in 2014, he said, “My first year of college was very challenging, but I made it through. Now, luckily, I am a medical student.”

Pierre will pursue residency training in emergency medicine in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Graduate Medical Education Program. In the future, he hopes to work in rural Montana with Native Americans and other underserved communities.


From First-Generation College Graduate to Internal Medicine Physician Caring for the Underserved

Dave Reyes, 32, is a first-generation college graduate who earned a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from the University of California, Davis. He is married and the father of two children.

While studying at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, Reyes established the ”Wish Makers” CUP (Commitment to Underserved People) program, which helps medical students become Arizona wish granters for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Student members help grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Reyes will pursue his residency training in internal medicine the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Graduate Medical Education Program. In the future, he hopes to provide care to underserved Spanish-speakers in the United States. He also is interested in providing free medical care to rural communities in Guatemala, where his family originally is from.