Posted in college, Education, Graduation, Health, medical school, school

To the Class of 2020: Dear Graduates…..

This year many of you have lost a moment you have spent years fighting for.  Your graduation was a rite of passage, a ceremony in which those who saw you sacrifice, toil and triumph could witness and share.  The coronavirus epidemic and resulting closures robbed you and your loved ones of this opportunity, but it couldn’t rob you of this….

Your mark in this world.

You have succeeded honorably despite multiple obstacles and reached your goal during a time when life was very uncertain.

Those of Generation Y and Z have witnessed some of the most tumultuous times, and this pandemic adds to the rocky start to many of your careers.

We older individuals might have had difficult paths as well but we had a much clearer picture of our future, of that finish line which helped guide our path.

You all had to, in the fog, reach this point and the fact that you chose to keep fighting and working at it defines the new generation of Americans.


Our future may seem uncertain during this time of pandemic and economic hardship, but one thing that is certain is you all give us hope.

Our country will be rebuilt and thrive because the next generation of hardworking Americans is YOU.  You who wouldn’t falter after 9/11 or the Great Recession, or social media invading every part of your life. You defied odds and proved that a job, or money or career did not need to be dangled in front of you to complete your studies and finish your schooling.

You got the job done! And I, who have been through multiple graduations – high school, college, and medical school, am saddened that you can’t be on that stage, applauded for your perseverance, ambition and passion.  But realize, no ceremony can begin to describe the pride your friends, families, teachers, mentors and fellow Americans have for you.

You are loved, revered, and honored, and we are so excited and grateful that our future will be driven and strengthened by you and your classmates!

Congratulations Class of 2020!!!


Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician


Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, Graduation, Health, news

Graduation Cancelled? Here’s A Few Options

As the coronavirus epidemic grips the country, institutions have been preemptively cancelling events that would bring crowds of more than 250 together. But students have worked their whole academic careers for this moment where they, in front of their loved ones, receive the honor and acknowledgement that they are joining the ranks of others who hold similar diplomas/degrees.




So in the face of a virus that has the potential to infect others within feet of eachother, how do we prevent it from crippling one of the most revered ceremonies in one’s lifetime?

To the Class of 2020: Dear Graduates…..

Here’s a few options…….

The pomp and circumstance of graduation ceremonies requiring an audience of hundreds is not always necessary. Most graduates, although grateful for the ceremony, want to receive their diploma relatively quickly and then celebrate with friends and family.  Family want to see their loved one receive their diploma and capture it on film.




So assuming the city in which the graduation is taking place bans gatherings no less than 10 people and all family members are negative for COVID, or not eliciting coronavirus symptoms or classified as “high risk“, each student could essentially have their own mini ceremony.


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Choose an area outdoors and schedule students to receive their diploma in front of their close family (with whom they have already been in isolation) with the background and decor within the video frame.  Students can be scheduled 15 minutes apart, with they and their families awaiting in their vehicle for a text when it’s their turn.

The faculty could appear first on film explaining the diploma.  If person-to-person contact is to be avoided, it can be set on a stand (with gloved hands) by which the student walks over to the stand as the faculty leaves and picks it up. Family with whom the student has been with throughout the lockdown can stand next to their graduate for the proud moment.



If hooding is required for a medical/osteopathic ceremony, this could be done masked, or similarly with the hood being on the table and a family member putting it on their graduate.

For the average class size a few days to a week could probably capture all of their happy and proud moments. And for a university, individual colleges can separate and hold events of their own to honor each graduate.



Each video can be posted online so other students can see their colleagues reach their milestone as well.

Another option is let the students have access to their cap and gown, obtain their diploma holder (which never has the true diploma in it during the ceremony anyway) and allow them to video tape their own creative way of obtaining their degree……hiking up a mountain, digging in the sand, scubadiving, etc.  We “coronials” can be awfully creative!

Allow students access to their CAP and GOWN to make GRAD memories

The graduation is one of the brightest and happiest moments in one’s lifetime. We sure could use a little of that ray of light right about now……




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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.