While the crowd in Killian Court buzzed with anticipation for commencement and an up-close glimpse of Matt Damon, the crew from MIT Medical was stationed at their customary spot in the northeast corner of Killian Court, ready to deal with any medical needs that might arise among the crowd of more than 10,000.
Leading the efforts in the medical tent this year were Family Practice Physician Marie Caggiano, Triage Nurse Anne Marcoux, EMS Technical Director Mark Forgues, Associate Medical Director David Diamond, and Director of Student Health, Shawn Ferullo. In the tent were hundreds of thermal blankets, four beds, ice packs, medicines, and boxes filled with Band-Aids and other first-aid materials. The tent even had its own large-screen TV so any attendees ending up in the tent for any reason could still see their loved ones receive their degrees — or catch a glimpse of “Will Hunting ’97” giving the commencement address.
For the second year in a row, it turned out to be a light day for the clinicians. The rain held off, and with temperatures in the mid-60s, attendees didn’t need much more than Band-Aids for blisters and the occasional ibuprofen or Benadryl. Which gave the staff plenty of time to beam with pride as they heard the names of their patients read on the loud speaker.
“Seeing the students we helped take care of achieve their goal, it makes you realize why we are here,” noted Ferullo.
Others working the tent agreed. “I only get to see them when they are sick, and there is a problem,” said Marcoux. “To see them happy is a nice change.”
However, the highlight for the MIT Medical staff was the Emergency Medical Services celebration. Every year, once commencement ends, the student-led ambulance team celebrate their own. After all the graduates have thrown their mortar boards in the air, the entire crew — along with their families — convene at the medical tent for cake and a champagne toast to a job well done.
Perhaps Caggiano best summed up the feeling shared by all MIT Medical staff, “It feels like we are part of the MIT community today.”