Class of 2019 graduate in style

18 July 2019
graduation news story

Hull York Medical School 'Class of 2019' graduate in style at Hull Bonus Arena

On Thursday 11 July 2019, Hull York Medical School celebrated the success of its ‘Class of 2019’ at the University of Hull Graduation Ceremony held at the Bonus Arena in Hull.

Over 150 graduands attended the ceremony including those graduating from the School’s MB BS Medicine Programme as well as Postgraduate students from the MSc in Clinical Anatomy, PG Diploma in Health Professions Education and intercalating BSc in Medical Sciences programmes. There were also a number of Postgraduate research degrees awarded including PhD’s and MD’s in Medical and Human Sciences. Graduands were joined by family, friends and of course Medical School staff who had supported them on their journey.

The ceremony was presided over by Lady Carolyn Roberts, Pro Chancellor of the University of Hull. Lady Carolyn trained as a nurse and health visitor herself and is a former member of the Commission on Human Medicines and of the Ethics Committee of the Royal College of Nursing. As well as congratulating graduands on their success, she was keen to encourage them to think about their own wellbeing and care for themselves so that they are able to care for their patients. She said ‘Hull York Medical School has shown you the way to learn and to improve your health and be as well as possible. Healthy living is grounded in scientific research. I hope you will continue to seek out this knowledge, utilise it and I hope contribute to it yourself’. She also urged graduates to ‘remain competent, remain compassionate and remain curious’ – all qualities which Hull York Medical School actively encourage. 

Professor Susan Lea, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hull, reflected on the achievements of medical school graduates during her speech. She said:

‘You have accomplished a great deal in your time at Hull York Medical School. As well as developing the subject knowledge, expertise and skills that will equip you for your chosen careers, you have gained a far broader education.

‘You have learned to solve problems, to adapt to a fast-changing world, to work with others, to be compassionate and caring, and no doubt you’ve learned about your own personal strength and resilience as you’ve overcome challenges.

‘Today marks an outstanding achievement for each of you.’

For Chris Marsden, MB BS Medicine graduate, the day was an opportunity to reflect on his time at the Medical School. He said:

 ‘It does feel a like a blink of an eye since we started at medical school and I am sure we have all questioned how much we have actually developed during our time here. However, it’s really how we react to the most challenging of situations that shows us how much we have grown. The last couple of months have really shown me how much I’ve changed. My gran, Peggy Tupman, was always my biggest supporter, always commenting how posh it was that we were going to have a doctor in the family. She was transferred to end of life care in the last month and sadly passed, just last week. It had been a very difficult time for my family, but being able to explain the process to my family and provide some comfort to them with the knowledge and skills I’ve developed, really brought home how much of an impact the past 5 years have had, and I can only thank the medical school for that.’ 

Hull York Medical School is the joint medical school of the Universities of Hull and York. Through a unique partnership with the two universities and regional NHS Trusts and community healthcare providers, the School offers exceptional medical education – centred on problem based learning, clinical and communication skills and early and sustained clinical exposure.

Since the School was established in 2003, it has been inspiring future medical professionals with the research, skills and knowledge they need to deliver brilliant healthcare, and has trained over 1600 doctors. These doctors are now working as GPS, Psychiatrists and Consultants within the region and beyond and making a difference to patients in their care.

Many of the Medical School’s Class of 2019 will be continuing their training locally as Foundation Year Junior Doctors within the Yorkshire and Humber Foundation School, which covers NHS Trusts throughout the Yorkshire region.

Dr Dan Roper, GP and Chairman of Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, who was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Hull for services to medicine shared the following words of wisdom:

‘Studying medicine and qualifying as a doctor changes you possibly unlike any other degree. Sitting here now you are at a watershed between the study and the practice of medicine. 

It has often been said that the study of medicine is a science and the practice of medicine is an art. The piece of paper in your hand and GMC registration acknowledge the effort that you have put into over the past 5 or 6 years. That’s the science bit. Be proud of what you have done.

As graduation recedes and the practice of medicine begins it is -how you do it, who you are, the values you stand for, the principles you hold, how you meet adversity, the humanity you display, the support you give .That’s the art of it .Become proud of who you are – qualities that are harder to measure and in some cases yet to develop. You have capabilities, skills, gifts you do not know you have.‘

Chris Long, Chief Executive Officer at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust which works in partnership with the Medical School and University to train doctors, shared the following words of wisdom:

If you make the care and safety of our patients your first concern you will never go too far wrong. Our NHS is a complex system governed by millions of human interactions, keep asking why and unpick your way through it. And make sure you have fun – you will be working with the most amazing people so enjoy it!


For Una Macleod, Dean of Hull York Medical School, and a GP herself, the day brought back memories of her own graduation. ‘There are few really memorable days in your life, but the day you become a doctor is one of them. I am immensely proud of all of our students. At Hull York Medical School we produce a different kind of graduate. Our doctors are confident, compassionate, resilient and above all patient centred – I wish our class of 2019 well as they embark upon the next stage of their journey and am confident they will deliver the exceptional care which Hull York graduates are known for.’

Photos from the days celebrations can be viewed here.

The Graduation Ceremony was preceded by a celebrations drinks reception at Hull Minster, during which Professor Una Macleod, Dean of the Medical School, recognised the individual achievements of a number of graduates. The following prizes were awarded:

  • The Alderson Medal- Elizabeth O’Connell
  • Founding Dean’s Award- Thomas Rowland
  • Dr Sanders Prize for Best Performance in Clinical Examinations in Phase III - Elizabeth O’Connell
  • Best Performance Written Papers in Phase III - Charlotte O’Driscoll
  • Best Overall Academic Performance in Phase III - Sarah Carr
  • Best Performance in the BSc in Medical Sciences (Biological, Biomedical and Environmental Sciences) - Patrick Martin
  • Exceptional Contribution to the School in Phase III - Alex Abel
  • Exceptional Contribution to the School in Phase III - Christopher Marsden
  • Exceptional Contribution to the School in Phase III - Laura Jenner