Lebanese American University


LAU celebrates its graduating medical doctors and residents

The Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine holds its medical doctors hooding ceremony and residents graduation ceremony.


A general view of the ceremony


LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra


Dean Michel Mawad


Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health Ghassan Hasbani


Valedictorian Mahmoud Merhi receives the Academic Excellence Award.


Remie Chrabieh receives the Leadership Award.


Eric Melhem Moughames receives the Community Service and Clinical Skills Award.


Essa Hariri receives the Research Award.


Robert Abed receives the Professionalism Award.


Reciting the Hippocratic oath


Resident Nour Youssef


Celebrations at the conclusion of the ceremony.

As the sun began to set over Byblos on Saturday, ten residents and 46 medical students from LAU’s Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine crossed the graduation stage on LAU’s campus, embarking on the next phase in their medical careers.

“You’re coming out of Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine at a time when your education, experience, and expertise are thoroughly needed in order to meet the challenges that medical education and healthcare delivery systems face,” LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra said at the beginning of the ceremony.

Touching upon current global crises affecting both developed and developing countries, Jabbra urged all students to remember that not only were they students, but more importantly “students who heal.”

The ceremony marked the second year LAU medical residents walked the stage alongside their junior peers. In 2016, two residents of internal medicine were represented in the inaugural graduation. This year, the graduating class hailed from the fields of dermatology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine.

Appointed last February, Dean Michel Mawad carried words of wisdom for the graduating class, imploring them to prioritize compassion in their burgeoning careers.

“Sympathize and empathize with patients, hold their hands, be there for them and let them feel deep down in their inner selves that that day, you have made your best effort,” said Mawad, professor of neurosurgery, neurology, radiology, ophthalmology, and practicing interventional radiologist at LAU Medical Center–Rizk Hospital.

“It is only in your discovery of the fears, anxieties, and desires of your patient that you will become a doctor,” he added.

LAU’s medical school, which opened its doors in 2009, continues to be the only one in Lebanon that emphasizes social training in its medical programs. Expanding the frontiers of learning through an interdisciplinary approach, the school runs a program in social medicine, teaching students how to handle patients on both the social and emotional levels.

Its high standards and rigorous education have ensured its partnerships with high- ranking hospitals around the world. As a result, student accomplishments have fallen nothing short of exceptional.  

Graduating resident Nour Youssef, who has specialized in pediatrics, touched upon the challenges in meeting such high standards in a medical career. “You, among all people, realize that success is not a sudden incident but a strenuous journey full of hurdles and pitfalls. Yet you, also among all people, become masters of endurance and determination,” she said.

Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Ghassan Hasbani, the keynote speaker, offered words of encouragement for the students facing arduous times ahead. “Just as you celebrate the end of years of hard work, you will now begin to know why you have been doing it and realize how easy it was,” he told the graduates.

Dealing with a “world full of uncertainties, challenges and opportunities” requires strength of character, Hasbani said. He urged them to be self-confident and undaunted by failure, but rather to learn from it while remaining passionate and curious. “Take action, fight for what you believe in, challenge yourself, be the man and woman in the arena of life, and not the spectator, for this is how you create a dent in the universe,” he said.

As friends and family gathered in support of their loved ones, carrying flowers and shouting out their names, valedictorian Mahmoud Merhi extended his gratitude to them.

“My dear graduates, I invite you to believe in yourselves,” he said. “To believe that we find heroes in ourselves. Role models are not only physicians, celebrities, entrepreneurs and politicians. They’re plentiful, they’re our mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters,” he added.

“The strong belief of having you, dear parents and friends, by our sides will get us to our next goal and destination. We will make you proud,” Merhi said.


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