At a ceremony in August, the 32 members of the physician associate Class of 1999 became the first to receive master’s degrees for their efforts. “If truth be told,” said Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., “the original proposal was that the master’s degree would be initiated with the Class of 2000. The faculty made a decision to begin with you. Never have I met a group who was more serious, more committed to their studies, more dedicated to what they were about to undertake.” Bruce Fichandler, P.A. ’73, chair of the P.A. admissions committee, urged the graduates to make five commitments — adhere to the M.D./P.A. concept; recognize the need for lifelong learning; have compassion for patients; try to prevent illness as well as heal it; and take time for themselves, their families and their communities. “Don’t forget to vote,” he said. “Plant a bush or a tree and take the time to watch it flourish and grow old with you. Read a book that has nothing to do with medicine. Take time to volunteer in a soup kitchen or an AIDS clinic. Slow down and relax. You will get to wherever you are destined to go soon enough.”