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Photo of Dr. Darrell Kirch

May 6, 2009

SIU Med School to Graduate 66 New Physicians

Commencement exercises for the 35th graduating class of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16.  The ceremony is held in the Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  Sixty-six physicians, including three with combined MD-JD degrees, and two doctoral degree students are receiving degrees.

The commencement speaker is Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which represents the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals and academic societies. 

Prior to becoming AAMC president in 2006, Kirch served for six years as senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the college of medicine and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University.  Previously, he served as dean and senior vice president of clinical activities at the Medical College of Georgia.

A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Kirch is a psychiatrist and clinical neuroscientist by training.  He began his career at the National Institute of Mental Health, becoming its acting scientific director and later receiving the Outstanding Service Medal of the U.S. Public Health Service.  He earned his medical and bachelor’s degrees at the University of Colorado, which has recognized him with its Silver and Gold Alumni Award.

During the ceremony, Jennifer Creamer, class chair from Brimfield, will deliver remarks on behalf of the graduates.  Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, Ph.D., dean and provost, will award diplomas to the medical students.  SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman, Ph.D., will confer the degrees.  

The new SIU physicians will begin residency training in their chosen specialty fields in July.  SIU School of Medicine is based in Carbondale and Springfield and is specifically oriented to educating new physicians prepared to practice in Illinois communities.  Since 1975, 2,202 physicians, plus the 2009 graduates, have earned SIU medical degrees.  The medical school’s Web site is



thern Illinois University School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs News Releases P.O. Box 19621, Springfield IL 62794-9621, 217-545-2155