Students reaffirm commitment to medicine at Second Year Oath Ceremony

February 27, 2013

At the annual Second Year Oath Ceremony, School of Medicine students will formally reaffirm their commitment to medicine as they reflect on what it means to be a physician. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 6, at 6 p.m. at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester.

The Second Year Oath Ceremony is how UMMS recognizes, in a formal and ceremonial way, that medicine is a humanistic, ethical and moral undertaking as well as a biological science. The ceremony includes an address by a faculty member chosen by the class, a presentation of Outstanding Medical Educator awards and a recitation by students of the oath that they have written.

This year’s guest speaker will be John K. Zawacki, MD, professor of medicine, who has worked at UMMS for the past 38 years, starting as an original member of the Department of Medicine at what was then UMass Medical Center.

Dr. Zawacki was born into a family of physicians and raised in a home on the grounds of theTaunton State Hospital, which also served as the evening office for his father’s private practice of psychiatry. He was nicknamed “Doc” throughout his boyhood and undergraduate education at the College of the Holy Cross. Following Tufts Medical School and a medical residency, GI fellowship and chief medical residency at Tufts New England Medical Center, Zawacki came to UMMS as the director of the Primary Care Clinic.

Throughout his long tenure at UMMS, he helped create the UMass Division of Gastroenterology, won numerous teaching awards, was selected to multiple best doctor lists, was honored for being a humanitarian by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and the Arnold Gold Society and, in November 2012, was selected as Compassionate Care Giver of the Year by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Health Care.

For more information, or to RSVP to the event, visit

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