David Jevotovsky, a graduate of the Grossman School of Medicine, overcame major obstacles to accept his diploma.
Jevotovsky walked across the stage, a feat that seemed impossible just a few years ago.
He was injured during his second year at the school back in 2017, struck by a car while riding his bike, which left him with a traumatic brain injury.
"I have a line going into my arm, have tubes from my throat," he said of transition from med student to patient. "It was familiar yet disorientating."
After a month in a coma, he had to relearn how to walk and talk.
"The next thing I remember, I woke up a month later in the hospital," he said. "So a full month was gone."
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Neurosurgeons from NYU Hospital needed to place him in a medically induced coma, and it worked, as he pulled through.
He said he was ready to jump back into his studies.
"I was ready to make up tests I missed and catch up with my friends," he said. "The dean quickly dispelled that denial and bought me back to reality. 'Let's take this one step at a time.'"
It would take many steps, and hours of intense therapy, with his family by his side.
"Those things really helped me relearn how to walk, how to talk and think," he said.
One year after the accident, he went back to school. And now, he's a doctor, as he and 106 other graduates received their Doctor of Medicine degrees and recited the Hippocratic Oath as they set out to begin their physician careers.
He will now do his residency in rehabilitation medicine, and all of it, he says, has made him a better person.
"I think I'm more grown up, more reflective, more self aware, compassionate, empathetic," he said. "At least I hope I am, to my patients. at least."
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