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Doctors Without Borders leader to speak at commencement

Story Date: Tue, 15 May 2012 10:11:00 EDT

Matthew C. Spitzer, MD, President of the US Board of Directors of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, will give the keynote address at the graduation ceremony for Eastern Virginia Medical School Saturday, May 19, 2012.

More than 3,000 parents, families and friends are expected to attend the EVMS commencement ceremony at the Norfolk Scope to celebrate the accomplishments of 296 graduates. The graduates include 113 new physicians and 183 from a variety of health professions degree programs.

Dr. Spitzer, a family physician, joined MSF in 1999, establishing primary care services and training medical providers in Khampa Tibet, southwestern China. He worked in Sierra Leone as a field coordinator, in a project that gauged the medical needs of asylum seekers in detention in the United States, and in Cambodia, coordinating MSF's response to epidemic dengue.

Elected to the Board of Directors of MSF-USA in 2006, he chaired the Program Committee and was elected President in 2008. In addition to his work with MSF, Dr. Spitzer worked for 10 years in San Francisco at the St. Anthony Free Clinic and its affiliated drug rehabilitation program. He also worked providing primary care and acute trauma care in San Quentin State Prison and taught in the case-based curriculum of UC-Berkeley's Joint Medical Program.

Now based in New York City, he is Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University's Center for Family and Community Medicine and Attending Physician at the Farrell Family Health Center in Washington Heights.