David J. Shulkin, MD, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, will address the Drexel University College of Medicine class of 2019 at its commencement ceremony on May 17.

The ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, where approximately 459 degrees will be presented, including 242 MD degrees, as well as 14 PhDs and 203 master’s degrees from the college’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies.

Previous to his VA service, Shulkin held executive roles at Morristown Medical Center, and the Atlantic Health System Accountable Care Organization. He was also president and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

Before leading the nation’s largest integrated health care system, much of Shulkin’s career developed in the Philadelphia region. Shulkin’s executive expertise led him to multiple health care institutions, including chief medical officer positions at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Temple University Hospital and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital. Among other academic positions, Shulkin served as co-chair of the Department of Medicine and, later, vice dean of Drexel’s College of Medicine.

Shulkin’s innovation spans beyond the bedside. He was founder, chairman and CEO of DoctorQuality, one of the first consumer-focused sources of information on quality and safety in health care.

A board-certified internist and fellow of the American College of Physicians, Shulkin earned his medical degree in 1986 from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University College of Medicine), completed an internship at the Yale University School of Medicine, and a residency and fellowship in general medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Medical Center. He also received advanced training in outcomes research and economics at the University of Pennsylvania as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. 

Among other honors, Shulkin has been named as one of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders” by Modern Healthcare in 2016, and previously on the magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” list. He has been married for more than 30 years to his wife, Merle Bari, MD, who also graduated in 1986 from MCP. They are parents of two children.

In recognition of his commitment to health care and medical education, the College of Medicine will award Shulkin an honorary doctor of science degree at the May 17 commencement ceremony.