PHILADELPHIA – Among the 154 Perelman School of Medicine students taking the Hippocratic Oath for the first time as new doctors this weekend is Aura Obando, who is making a long trip to be at graduation: travelling 7700 miles over three days, she will be returning from a six-week trip working at Teule Hospital in Tanzania just in time to reunite with her class to march at graduation and receive her diploma.


Kimmel Center
260 South Broad Street on the Avenue of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA 19102

NOTE: Reporters and Photographers must sign in with Kim Guenther and pick up a ticket to gain admittance.


Sunday, May 16, 2010
9 – 11 AM

9:00   AM


9:05   AM
9:15   AM
9:45   AM
10:45   AM
11:00 AM

Opening remarks
Graduation address given by Art Caplan, PhD
Presentation of diplomas and hoods
Recitation of the Hippocratic Oath


  • Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Art Caplan, PhD, director of the Center for Bioethics at Penn, will present the Graduation Address.

“I'm leaving Tanzania feeling like I have learned so much about medicine in Africa, about practicing medicine with extremely limited resources, and about my potential for making an impact in the future,” said Obando. “Now on my three day journey home, I am feeling so many different emotions -- starting with trying to process my experience at Teule Hospital, and trying to refocus my energy on the very exciting weekend coming up: my graduation from medical school. This weekend will bring together my entire family, and I really can't imagine a better homecoming.”

Aura, who hopes to provide care to underserved populations in the U.S. and internationally following her residency in Medicine and Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, previously spent time serving with the U.S. Peace Corps in Paraguay. While at Penn, she has volunteered for Puntes de Salud, a community-based clinic for the Latino immigrant population of South Philadelphia, and as an interpreter for Penn Language Link, which facilitates effective patient-caregiver communication.

Many students planning careers in primary care– a specialty facing a national shortage – are deterred by the rapid rise in medical education debt, decreased income potential for primary care physicians and increased burdens associated with the practice of primary care. For Aura, a  merit-based Gamble Scholarship eased the burden of debt allowing her to “pursue whatever field is closest to her heart.” The Gamble Scholarship program, now in its 18th year, covers tuition for ten Penn Medicine scholars each year.


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.



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