For the University of Colorado School of Medicine Class of 2022, the past two years have been filled with many twists and turns as normal life was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenges these students have faced to balance school, clinical training, and personal life have demanded much of them.
It is with great pleasure that we celebrate this year's graduates with a hooding and oath ceremony on Friday, May 27, at 10:15 a.m.
Click on the stories and videos below to learn more about our graduates and their journey through medical school.
For more information and details on this year's graduation, please click here.
It was a few years before Kiyomi Daoud started college at Harvard University that her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As devastating as it was watching her grandmother’s struggle, Daoud found herself not only curious about the neurologic process her grandmother was going through, but also how her grandmother’s condition was affecting her grandfather, her parents, her sister, and herself.
Daoud signed up for a course in medical anthropology at Harvard in hopes of better understanding the ways in which people experience health and illness, and through that course she found her passion that led her to the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where she will graduate this month.
During his summers as an undergraduate student, Zaid Al Bahrani worked as a counselor at Camp Kesem in Ohio, a weeklong overnight camp for children impacted by a parent’s cancer diagnosis.
Some of the children had already lost a parent to cancer, and some were seeing their parents deal with the effects of the disease every day. The camp gave the children an opportunity to meet others who could understand what they were feeling – the anger and hope, sadness and frustration, confusion, grief, and sometimes peace.
Dottie Stearns’ road to medical school curved across San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, where she learned through studying Cyclura rileyi iguanas that it’s possible to survive a mass extinction event by burrowing.
Her road spanned the Sevietta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, where she learned about the effects of reduced rainfall on root biomass production of bouteloua grasses.
It was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, aboard a Navy ship bound for the Middle East, that Josh Abolarin’s journey to medical school began.
Abolarin, who had long been interested in science and medicine, brought along a collection of biology and physics textbooks as his reading material for the long voyage. The more he studied, the more he saw the connections between his role as a missile and radar technician for the military and the deft maneuvers performed by surgeons in the operating room.
For Bukkapatnam, the win was the culmination of six years of research that began when she was an undergraduate at CU Denver. While taking part in the CU Cancer Center’s summer fellowship program for undergraduates, she first started working with her mentor, Sana Karam, MD, PhD, a CU Cancer Center member and associate professor of radiation oncology. It’s a relationship that continued to grow over the next six years.
Christine Krentz reflects on her time at the CU School of Medicine and shares she will be heading to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin her family medicine residency at Contra Costa Health Services. She encourages incoming students to enjoy the time they have here on campus as it goes by quickly. Krentz will miss her mentors who have supported her along the way.
William Mundo was recently featured on a mural on the CU Denver campus. He will begin his residency in emergency medicine this fall at Denver Health Medical Center and UCHealth University of Colorado. Mundo shares his passion for caring for patients in underserved communities. He encourages incoming students to have an open mind and seek out new opportunities.