PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Medical Center (MMC) will hold a virtual celebration on Saturday, May 2 to recognize the eighth cohort of Maine Track program students who graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston on April 24. After completing the program that includes classroom instruction in Boston with community-based practice in Maine, this year’s class of 40 will begin residencies this summer.
This year’s celebration is being held online in accordance with Maine Gov. Janet Mills’ stay-at-home order. Since students will be beginning their residencies soon, MMC and Tufts wanted to ensure that students’ accomplishments were recognized.
“These students are entering medicine at a time when the importance of science and high-quality medical care has truly been in the spotlight,” said Doug Sawyer, M.D., MMC’s Chief Academic Officer. “While we had to adjust the way we celebrate this year’s class, we look forward to seeing them contribute to the health of our state and nation in the years to come.”
The Maine Track program is a partnership between MMC and Tufts that was formed 12 years ago to help address the shortage of doctors in Maine, provide financial assistance to aspiring medical students from Maine and develop an innovative curriculum focused on community-based education. Including the 2020 class, 280 physicians have graduated from the program since it began. While program participants are not required to practice in Maine, 48 percent of graduates who have completed their residencies, fellowships and military commitments were doing so as of the fall of 2019.
MMC’s annual Maine Track celebration marks the local recognition of medical school students who also will take part in a virtual graduation ceremony with Tufts on May 17. Beginning in June, nine Maine Track students and five other students from the Boston-based Tufts program will begin residencies at MMC.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have been a part of the Maine Track program,” said Sydney Ford, M.D., the student speaker for the Class of 2020 during this weekend’s Celebration. “Maine Track’s hands-on clerkships not only prepared me well for residency, but involved me in the care of a community in ways that would not have been possible in a more traditional curriculum. I have received a strong education, but more importantly, I have gained a community and a family.”
Members of the public who would like to watch the Maine Track celebration may do so here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3X00NBmHRWHfIJsxkzrWYA/