This time of year, with graduation ceremonies taking place and excitement in the air, one naturally focuses on the future. Whether we are graduating from one of GW’s health sciences or Ph.D. programs, completing medical school or residency, preparing for the incoming residents, or even turning in an annual report as a faculty member — we all have our eyes on what lies ahead. For many of us, it is a time to celebrate our successes, seize new opportunities, and create the future.
As I reflect on my own graduation from GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) in May 1981, I remember deans Bowles and Keimowitz outlining the amazing opportunities that were ahead of us at the time. Their optimistic words of wisdom sent us off into a world that I now realize is much more unpredictable than I imagined that afternoon. In the following years, health care would experience unimaginable challenges, such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as well as major medical advances, including robots in the operating room. We would begin to realize the promise of genomics and personalized medicine.