Tuesday, April 30, 2024
  Happenings, Around Campus, Health

By Heriberto Perez–Zuñiga

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – APRIL 30, 2024 – The UTRGV School of Medicine will hold its annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4, to celebrate the graduating Class of 2024.

The ceremony marks the culmination of four years of hard work for graduates and their transition from students to medical professionals.

This cohort began its medical education journey four years ago, when the world was grappling with the disruptions and complexities brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite unprecedented challenges, the Class of ‘24 responded with resilience and determination, a testament to their commitment to the medical field.

To date, nearly 200 medical students have graduated from the UTRGV School of Medicine and embarked on residencies in the Rio Grande Valley, and across Texas and the country, matched with prestigious residency programs including Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard; Duke University Medical Center; Cornell Medical Center; Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Johns Hopkins Hospital; Stanford Health; UT Southwestern Medical School and UT Austin Dell Medical School.

Valley native and medical student Prakhar Jain said he is proud to have been a part of the UTRGV School of Medicine’s Class of 2024 and is looking forward to the moment when he can walk across the stage as a new doctor.

“I can’t thank enough all the people who helped get me to this moment – my friends, family, and mentors who supported me and inspired my decision to pursue a career in healthcare,” Jain said. “Getting to make that walk across the stage is a dream come true.”

Jain encourages other Valley students to think about beginning their medical education journey.

“I grew up in McAllen and I saw the real need for medical professionals in the area,” Jain said. “The Valley has a unique population, and we need more doctors who can understand the needs and be part of the community.”

Dr. Michael Hocker, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and senior vice president for UT Health RGV, said the commencement ceremony stands as a testament to the School of Medicine’s contributions to growing the next generation of healthcare leaders, while also tackling the physician shortage in the state and region.

“For many students, the journey to graduation has been filled with great experiences but also some obstacles, including the uncertainties of the pandemic and the balancing act of school and family life,” Hocker said. “However, their perseverance has paid off, and these graduates are ready to embark on the next chapter of their medical careers. We are immensely proud of the Class of 2024 and are excited to witness the impact they will make transforming the health of the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.”

For more information on the UTRGV School of Medicine’s commencement, visit UTRGV.edu/SOMGrad.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.