Michigan Surgeon General Receives Honorary Degree From Morehouse School Of Medicine

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

May 18, 2005

Michigan Surgeon General Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree at a commencement ceremony for the 21st graduating class of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. The degree is Wisdom's first honorary degree.

In presenting the honorary degree to Wisdom, Dr. David Satcher, 16th United States Surgeon General and Interim President of Morehouse School of Medicine said, "You have been instrumental in the development of a wide range of health programs and initiatives. You have gained favor and distinction for your dedication to the field of medicine."

During her commencement address, Wisdom spoke about the defining moments in her life, from being told in high school that she should not pursue a medical degree because there weren't any women physicians-and certainly not any African American ones-to saving a young boy's life early in her career.

Wisdom also encouraged members of the graduating class to take care of themselves - physically, mentally and spiritually, grow and maintain relationships - both personal and professional, find their passion, become lifelong learners, balance life with playtime, take some risks, and never forget who they are.

"Surround yourself with people that celebrate you - not those that simply tolerate you," Wisdom said. "You or your ideas may not always be popular or well received, but strive to be respected."

In 2004, Wisdom released the Healthy Michigan 2010: Surgeon General's Health Status Report and the Michigan Surgeon General's Prescription for a Healthier Michigan. In February 2005, she launched Michigan Steps Up, a statewide healthy lifestyles campaign designed to improve the health of Michigan citizens by encouraging everyone to move more, eat better and avoid tobacco use.

Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is a historically black institution located in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1975, the institution provides medical education to those who seek to increase access to health care and to eliminate health disparities among the nation's under-served individuals and communities.