UTRGV School of Medicine Inaugural White Coat Ceremony


[APPLAUSE]
>>I AM DR.�LEONEL VELA, SENIOR AND PROFESSOR HERE AT THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.
IT IS A GREAT HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO SERVE AS THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES FOR THIS MOST
PROFOUND AND VERY SPECIAL EVENT. WE ARE DELIGHTED THAT YOU HAVE JOINED US FOR
THIS VERY HISTORICAL MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF UTRGV, THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, THE VALLEY
AND OUR GREAT STATE OF TEXAS. BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE PROGRAM, I WOULD
LIKE TO REVIEW SOME HOUSEKEEPING MATTERS, SO LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS A SOLEMN
CEREMONY WITH SIGNIFICANT MEANING SO WE ASK YOU TO PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES OR
PLACE THEM IN A SILENT MODE, YOU’RE WELCOME TO TAKE PHOTOS OR VIDEO TAPE FROM YOUR SEATS
BUT, PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SEATS OR APPROACH THE STAGE TO TAKE PICTURES OR VIDEOS DURING
ANY PART OF THE CEREMONY. THE CEREMONY WILL BE VIDEO TAPED, PHOTOS WILL
BE TAKEN BY PROFESSIONAL STAFF OF THE UNIVERSITY AND THESE WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE STUDENTS
TO SHARE WITH THEIR FAMILIES. WE HAVE PHOTOGRAPHERS, VIDEOGRAPHERS AND THEY
WILL CAPTURE EVERY MOMENT OF THIS OCCASION. SO NOW, I KNOW YOU’RE VERY ANXIOUS TO WELCOME
THE CLASS OF MEDICAL STUDENTS, SO AT THIS TIME, PLEASE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE
LARGE SCREEN BEHIND ME. [MUSIC]
� � �
� [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]
[MUSIC] [APPLAUSE]
>>LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING THE CHARTER CLASS OF THE UTRGV SCHOOL
OF MEDICINE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]
>>PLEASE REMAIN STANDING FOR THE PRESENTATION OF COLORS BY THE UTRGV ARMY ROTC AND SINGING
OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM BY UTRGV STUDENT CECILIA MOLINA.
[ANTHEM] [APPLAUSE]
>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>A WARM TO ROTC AND TO CECILIA, THANK YOU,
CECILIA. I WILL NOW PRESENT THE SPECIAL PLATFORM GUESTS,
FACULTY MEMBERS OF THE MEDICAL SCHOOL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND DEPARTMENT CHAIRS SO PLEASE
HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE UNTIL ALL ARE PRESENTED. SO YOU MAY HAVE A SEAT, PLEASE.
>>I WENT WILLIAM, CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM.
DR.�GUY BAILEY, FOUNDER OF UNIVERSITY OF RIO GRANDE VALLEY.
DR.�RODR�GUEZ, PROVOST AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS.
DR.�FRANCISCO FERN�NDEZ, PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY, NEUROLOGY AND
FOUNDING DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, DR.�STEVE, INTERIM DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.
DR.�DARRELL. FACULTY MEMBERS OF DEAN’S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE,
DR.�ROBERT NELSON, SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR FACULTY MATTERS.
DR.�JOHN, SENIOR ASSOCIATE. YOLANDA G�MEZ, ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR GRADUATE
MEDICAL EDUCATION. DR.�ADELA VALDEZ, ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR STUDENT
AFFAIRS. DR.�BARRY LINGER, ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT
FOR ACCREDITATION AND INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS. AND OUR DEPARTMENT CHAIRS, DR.�MICHAEL COLLARD,
INTERIM CHAIR. DR.�GABRIEL, CHAIR DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY,
NEUROLOGY AND NEUROSCIENCES. DR.�JAMES HANDILY, INTERIM CHAIR, DEPARTMENT
OF MEDICINE. DR.�ERIN, CHAIR DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND
PREVENTIVE MEDICINE. DR.�TONY AUGBURN, CHAIR, DEPARTMENT OF OBSTETRICS
AND GYNECOLOGY AND DR.�SNYDER, I WANTED TO SAY THAT WE ARE DELIGHTED THAT DR.�SNIDER
WILL JOIN UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE ON NOVEMBER�1ST AS THE CHAIR OF DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY, DR.�SNYDER
WAS RECIPIENT OF AWARD AND WE ARE DELIGHT THAT HAD YOU’RE JOINING US HERE TODAY.
PLEASE JOIN ME IN GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGING THE DISTINGUISHED ATTENDEES.
[APPLAUSE] THERE CAN BE NO MEDICAL SCHOOL WITHOUT FACULTY.
IT’S FACULTY WHO SERVE AND WILL SERVE AS THE TEACHERS AND MENTORS FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS
AND UNSELFISHLY GIVE TIME AND EXPERTISE TO PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION OF PHYSICIANS.
SO WILL THE FACULTY OF THE UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, PLEASE STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED.
[APPLAUSE]>>THE FIRST FULL WHITE COAT CEREMONY TOOK
PLACE AT THE COLOMBIA UNIVERSITY PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS WITH DR.�GOLD WHO WAS CLINICAL
PEDIATRICS AT COLOMBIA. AT THE TIME DR.�GOLD NOTED THAT THE EXISTING
PRACTICE OF HAVING STUDENTS TAKE THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH OCCURRED TWO YEARS TOO LATE, TODAY A
CEREMONY TAKE PLACE IN ALMOST ANY ACCREDITED MEDICAL SCHOOL IN THE U.S. AND CANADA.
THE WHITE COAT CEREMONY IS AUSPICIOUS EXPERIENCE AS STUDENTS ENTER MEDICAL SCHOOL IN THE PRESENCE
OF FAMILY AND GUESTS, STUDENTS ARE WELCOMED INTO THE COMMUNITY BY LEADERS OF THE MEDICAL
SCHOOL AND CEREMONY CLOAKED WITH THEIR DOCTORS WHITE COAT.
THEN DRESSED IN THEIR WHITE COAT THEY STAND TO TAKE THE OATH COMMITTING THEM TO THE PROFESSION
OF HEALING, BY ESTABLISHING THIS MEANINGFUL RITUAL AT THE BEGINNING OF MEDICAL SCHOOL,
STUDENTS ARE AWARE OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES FROM THE FIRST DAY OF TRAINING.
THIS MOVING CEREMONY IS INTENDED TO IMPRESS UPON THEM, THE PRIVACY OF THE DOCTORPATIENT
RELATIONSHIP. IT ENCOURAGES THEM TO ENTER INTO A SOCIAL
CONTRACT IN WHICH THEY ACCEPT THE OBLIGATIONS INHERENT IN THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE TO BE
EXCELLENT IN SCIENCE, TO BE EMPATHETIC AND SERVE OTHERS WITH COMPASSION, A PHYSICIAN’S
RESPONSIBILITY IS TO TAKE CARE OF PATIENTS AND ALSO TO CARE ABOUT PATIENTS.
THIS MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED SO DOCTORS CAN CARE AS WELL AS CURE.
NOW, IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE THE INDIVIDUAL WHO LEADS THIS GREAT UNIVERSITY.
IN MAY 2014 DR.�GUY BAILEY WAS NAMED THE FOUNDING PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
RIO GRANDE VALLEY. PRIOR TO BEEN NAMED PRESIDENT OF UTRGV HE
SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA, TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY AND CHANCELLOR OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI KANSAS CITY. HE’S BEEN PROVOST AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SAN ANTONIO. DEAN OF LIBERAL ARTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
NEVADA, LAS VEGAS AND CHAIR OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT OF OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY AND
THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS AND AS A FACULTY MEMBER OF TEXAS A&M AND EMERY UNIVERSITY.
DR.�BAILEY HAS ACHIEVED MUCH IN THESE ROLES. , BUT WE ARE PARTICULARLY GRATEFUL AND BLESSED
TO HAVE DR.�BAILEY AS OUR FOUNDING PRESIDENT FOR UTRGV SCHOOL UTRGV.
IT IS WITH GREAT HONOR THAT I NOW PRESENT TO YOU OUR PRESIDENT DR.�GUY BAILEY.
[APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU SO MUCH.
IT’S TRULY AN HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO BE HERE TODAY AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU ALL OF
YOU FOR JOINING US ON THE SPECIAL CELEBRATION. THERE’S SO MANY PEOPLE TO THANK FOR MAKING
THIS DAY POSSIBLE, I CAN’T NAME THEM ALL BUT DO I WANT TO MENTION SOME GROUPS THAT I WANT
TO POINT OUT, PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY HELPFUL.
OUR CHANCELLOR IS HERE AND GRATEFUL FOR OUR PRESENCE AND WE ALSO HAVE OUR LOCAL REGION
ERNIE, WE APPRECIATE HIS SUPPORT. WE HAVE SEVERAL EXECUTIVES FROM THE UT SYSTEM.
THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. WE ALSO HAVE NUMEROUS ELECTED AND APPOINTED
OFFICIALS AND FROM LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS JOINING US HERE TODAY.
I SEE AT LEAST FOUR MAYORS, WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT.
WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT U THIS COULDN’T HAPPEN, THIS DAY WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.
THE UNIVERSITY IN THE MEDICAL SCHOOL TRULY BELONG TO THE ENTIRE RIO GRANDE VALLEY.
OUR SUCCESS DEPENDS ON ALL OF US WORKING TOGETHER AND SO WE APPRECIATE YOU BEING HERE TODAY.
NOW, I WANT TO POINT OUT TWO PEOPLE IN PARTICULAR AND I WILL TELL YOU WHY IN JUST A SECOND.
THEY ARE SENATOR JUAN CHUY HINOJOSA AND LUCIO, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US HERE THIS
MORNING. AS SOME OF YOU KNOW THE FORM LEGISLATION TO
FORM MEDICAL SCHOOL IN RIO GRANDE VALLEY WAS FILED IN 1947 BEFORE EVEN I WAS BORN, IT’S
A LONG TIME. THESE TWO SENATORS MADE IT HAPPEN.
AND SO WE WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE INTERNALLY GRATEFUL FOR THEIR WORK AND THE WORK OF THE ENTIRE
LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION IN BRINGING THIS MEDICAL SCHOOL HERE TODAY.
BY THE WAY, THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER WAS BUILT WITH STATE APPROPRIATED DOLLARS, YOU
DON’T SEE THAT VERY OFTEN AND OUR SENATORS WERE VERY INSTRUMENTAL IN MAKING THAT HAPPEN
AS WELL. SO THANK ALL OF YOU.
WE ALSO HAVE HERE TODAY OUR HOSPITAL PARTNERS WHO HAVE BEEN VERY INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING
RESIDENCY PROGRAMS UP AND RUNNING, I THINK WE HAVE ABOUT A 100 MEDICAL RESIDENTS THROUGHOUT
THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND THE HOSPITALS HAVE WORKED CLOSELY WITH OUR SCHOOL’S FOUNDING
DEAN, DR.�FRANCISCO FERN�NDEZ. INTERIM DEAN DR.�STEVEN AS WELL AS TERRIFIC
FACULTY. WE THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AS WELL.
AND, OF COURSE, WE WOULDN’T BE HERE TODAY WITHOUT THE INTEREST OF THE TALENTED AND COMPASSIONATE
YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHO WANT TO MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
THAT’S WHY THEY ARE HERE. THAT’S WHY THEY ARE GOING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL.
I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU, ALL OF THE INAUGURAL CLASS OF 55 NEW MEDICAL STUDENTS WHO WILL
GET TO MEET TODAY AND I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOUR FAMILIES FOR BEING HERE.
WE HOPE THAT ALL 55 OF YOU WILL GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL HERE AND MAKE THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY
YOUR HOME JUST AS I’VE MADE IT MINE. NOW IT’S MY PLEASURE TODAY TO INTRODUCE DR.�WILLIAM,
OUR CHANCELLOR AND HE’S A RETIRED U.S. NAVY FOUR STAR ADMIRAL AND THE CHANCELLOR OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM, HE LEADS ONE OF THE NATION’S LARGEST AND MOST RESPECTED SYSTEMS
OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND HE’S BEEN A SUPPORTER OF THE UTRGV.
HE’S VISITED HERE MORE TIMES THAN THE CAMPUS. DON’T REPEAT THAT.
[LAUGHTER]>>SINCE HE BECAME CHANCELLOR IN 2015 COMMITTED
IN IMPROVING LIVES IN TEXAS THROUGH RESEARCH AND HEALTH CARE.
HIS AMBITIOUS VISION FOR THE SYSTEM INCLUDES ADDRESS MANY SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES THAT FACE
THE STATE OF TEXAS. PRIOR TO BECOMING CHANCELLOR AS MANY OF YOU
KNOW, ADMIRAL WAS COMMANDER OF U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AND HE LED A FORCE OF 69,000
MEN AND WOMEN AND WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONDUCTING COUNTERTERRORISM OPERATIONS THROUGHOUT THE
WORLD. HE’S A WORLDWIDE AND WORLD RENOWN EXPERT IN
COUNTERTERRORISM AND ADVISED MANY PRESIDENTS. WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE HIM HERE TODAY AND
WE ARE EXTREMELY FORTUNATE TO HAVE HIM AS OUR CHANCELLOR.
CHANCELLOR MCRAVEN. [APPLAUSE]
>>WELL, WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, GUY, FOR THAT VERY KIND INTRODUCTION.
AND I WANT TO THANK FRANK FERN�NDEZ ALONG WITH HIS FACULTY AND STAFF WHO HAVE DONE SUCH
A PHENOMENAL JOB, THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, STEVE WHO HAS HIT THE GROUND RUNNING IN YOUR
NEW ROLE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, AND TO OUR NEW MEDICAL
STUDENTS I’M SURE IT’S DAWNED ON YOU THAT WHILE TODAY MARKS AN IMPORTANT PERSONAL MILESTONE
IT IS ALSO A DAY THE ENTIRE REGION HAS BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR A VERY LONG TIME.
A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU.
A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE ARE COUNTING ON YOU, MYSELF INCLUDED.
I GREW ABOUT 230�MILES OF HERE IN SAN ANTONIO. MY MOTHER WAS A SCHOOL TEACHER WHO ALSO VOLUNTEERED
AT WILFORD HOSPITAL AND BY THE TIME I WAS BORN MY MOTHER WANTED ME TO BE A DOCTOR.
MY FATHER’S FATHER AND HIS FATHER WERE BOTH DOCTORS.
MY GRANDFATHER SERVED IN BOTH WORLD WAR I AND WORLD WAR II AS A DOCTOR BUT HIS REAL
SERVICE IN LIFE WAS TAKING CARE OF THE PEOPLE OF MISSOURI, HE WAS THE COUNTRY DOCTOR EXCHANGING
MEDICAL SERVICES FOR EGGS AND BREAD AND LIVESTOCK. HE DIED FLAT BROKE AND YET I AM CONVINCED
HE WAS THE RICHEST MAN BECAUSE OVER 5,000 PEOPLE CAME TO HIS FUNERAL.
TO MY MOTHER, I DID NOT FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS, I NEVER DAWNED THE WHITE COAT.
DESTINY HAD A DIFFERENT PATH FOR ME AND A DIFFERENT KIND OF UNIFORM.
I EMBARKED AS A NAVY SALE, WHILE THEY MAY FEEL LIKE A DIFFERENT CHOICE THAN YOU’VE MADE,
I BELIEVE THEY ARE SIMILAR IN VERY IMPORTANT RESPECTS, IT IS WHY I WANTED TO BE HERE TODAY
AND IT IS WHY THE CEREMONY RESINATES SO POWERFULLY WITH ME.
TODAY YOU ARE, IN EFFECT, PUTTING ON THE UNIFORM OF A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
TAKE IT FROM ME, A UNIFORM WILL TRANSFORM YOU THE SECOND YOU PUT IT ON.
THINK OF THE ATTRIBUTES IN THE UNIFORM AND WHAT THEY REPRESENT.
IN THE MILITARY WE HAVE WHAT’S CALLED A UNIT PATCH.
WHEN I PUT ON MY UNIFORM, I KNOW I AM REPRESENTING THAT UNIT.
THE PATCH I WORE WAS THE NAVY SEAL. EVERYBODY WHO WEARS THE TRIDENT IS EXPECT
TODAY BEHAVE IN THE WAY THAT HONORS THE TRADITIONS OF THE NAVY SEAL.
TODAY AS YOU PUT WHITE COATS YOU JOIN, YOU ARE NO LONGER MERELY STUDENTS, YOU HAVE ACCEPTED
AND EMBRACED THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION.
YOU WILL BE UNWAVERING IN YOUR PROFESSIONALISM. YOU WILL HEAL.
YOU WILL COMFORT, YOU WILL BE AT YOUR BEST WHEN PATIENTS NEED YOU THE MOST.
YOU WILL GIVE THEM HOPE. THAT’S WHAT I SEE AND IT’S WHAT THE WORLD
SEES WHEN THEY SEE THAT WHITE COAT. NOW, IN ADDITION TO MY UNIT PATCH, MY UNIFORM
HAD SOMETHING ELSE VERY IMPORTANT ON IT. IT HAD MY NAME.
MY FAMILY NAME, THE NAME OF MY FATHER AND GRAND FATHER WHO SERVED BEFORE ME.
I REALIZED AS SOON AS I PUT THE UNIFORM THAT I WAS ALSO REPRESENTING THE MY FAMILY AND
THE SAME GOES FOR ALL OF YOU. EARNING THE WHITE COAT IS A PHENOMENAL ACCOMPLISHMENT.
WE ARE HERE TO SALUTE BUT NEVER FORGET THAT WHILE IT IS YOUR PERSONAL NAME THAT’S ON THAT
UNIFORM, YOU ARE ALSO REPRESENTING YOUR MOTHERS AND FATHERS AND SIBLINGS AND EVERYONE WHO
HAS SUPPORTED YOU ON THE JOURNEY AND SACRIFICED ON YOUR BEHALF.
KEEP THEM IN MIND AND HONOR THEM. OF COURSE, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING MY UNIFORM
HAD ON IT WAS THE AMERICAN FLAG. AS SOON AS I PUT THE UNIFORM ON I KNEW I WAS
REPRESENTING EVERYBODY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
YOUR COATS DON’T HAVE THE FLAG BUT THEY HAVE SOMETHING JUST AS MEANINGFUL.
THE LOGO, THE UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, I KNOW THAT 20 OF YOU WHO ARE FROM THE VALLEY
ALREADY UNDERSTAND AND I DARE SAY THE REST OF YOU HAVE PROBABLY FIGURED IT OUT AS WELL,
UNLIKE ANY CLASS OF STUDENTS BEGINNING MEDICAL SCHOOL ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, YOU
ARE PART OF SOMETHING UNIQUE, SOMETHING HISTORIC. AT LONG LAST, A CHILD BORN TODAY WILL HAVE
THE OPPORTUNITY TO STAY IN THE VALLEY FROM THEIR PREK EDUCATION ALL THE WAY THROUGH HIGH
SCHOOL, UNDERGRADUATE SCHOOLS, RESIDENCY TRAINING AND MEDICAL PRACTICE.
THE LOOP HAS FINALLY BEEN CLOSED AND THAT’S GOING TO CHANGE THE TRAJECTORY OF THE ENTIRE
REGION PERMANENTLY AND FOR THE BETTER. AS WE CELEBRATE THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND POTENTIAL
OF EXTRAORDINARY GROUP OF STUDENTS, WE ARE ALSO CELEBRATING A MILESTONE IN THE LIFE OF
THE ENTIRE REGION. ONE FINAL THOUGHT, ONE LAST PARALLEL BETWEEN
THE PATHS DESTINY HAD IN STORE FOR ME 40 YEARS AGO AND THE JOURNEY YOU ARE EMBARKING TODAY.
IN 1973 THE MILITARY TRANSITION FROM THE DRAFT TO ALLVOLUNTEER FORCE.
A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WOULD NEVER WORK. THE PAY IS LOW, THE CONDITIONS ARE TOUGH,
THE SACRIFICES INCLUDING LOTS OF TIME AWAY FROM HOME AND FAMILY ARE HUGE.
THE NAY SAYERS WERE QUICKLY PROVEN WRONG. VOLUNTEERS CAME IN DROVES.
NOT ONLY THAT BUT THE QUALITY OF THOSE SERVING JUMPED DRAMATICALLY, THEY.
>>HUNGRY TO SERVE, TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND THE SAME WAY THE MEDICAL PROFESSION PERHAPS
THE MOST CHALLENGING PROFESSION IN THE WORLD IS MADE UP ENTIRELY OF VOLUNTEERS, BY PUTTING
ON THE WHITE COAT YOU ARE VOLUNTEERING FOR COURSE OF TRAINING AND ULTIMATELY A CAREER
THAT WILL TEST YOU PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND SHIRT SPIRITUALLY
BECAUSE YOU WANT TO SERVE YOUR FELLOW MAN.
AND SO I HAVE COME HERE TO CONGRATULATE YOU BUT ALSO TO THANK YOU.
THOUGH YOU STILL HAVE A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF YOU YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE ME AND EVERYONE
HERE PROUD. NOW, GO MAKE THE MOST OF THIS OPPORTUNITY,
GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.
[APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, CHANCELLOR MCRAVEN
AND PRESIDENT BAILEY. I WOULD LIKE NOW TO INTRODUCE THE PROVOST
OF
THE UTRGV DR. HAVIDAN RODR�GUEZ AND HE ALSO SERVED AS PRESIDENT AT INTERIM AND PROPOST
AND VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS PANAMERICAN, PRIOR
TO ARRIVING DR.�RODR�GUEZ SERVED AS DEPUTY PROVOST, VICE PROVOST AND INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
AND PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE.
HE WAS ALSO A CORE FACULTY MEMBER AND FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE DISASTER RESEARCH CENTER,
THE OLDEST AND ONE OF THE LEADING SOCIAL SCIENCE DISASTER RESEARCH CENTERS IN THE WORLD.
HE OBTAINED HIS PH.D IN SOCIOLOGY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MEDICINE.
DR.�RODR�GUEZ HAS HELD FACULTY POSITIONS IN SEVERAL ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO FOR OVER A DECADE. HE IS AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED EXPERT
IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCE ASPECTS OF DISASTERS. IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE THE
PROVOST OF UTRGV DR.�HAVIDAN RODR�GUEZ. [APPLAUSE]
>>GOOD MORNING. MUY BUENOS DIAS.
[SPEAKING IN SPANISH]>>IT IS CERTAINLY A PLEASURE AND PRIVILEGE
TO SEE ALL OF YOU HERE THIS MORNING WITH US CELEBRATING THIS HISTORIC MOMENT, NOT ONLY
FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY, NOT ONLY FOR OUR COHORT OF MEDICAL STUDENTS
BUT FOR THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY, FOR THE STATE AND, YES, FOR THE NATION.
TO OUR STUDENTS I WANT TO SAY FELICIDADES AND CONGRATULATIONS.
TO ALL OF YOU HERE, I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU BECAUSE THINK ABOUT IT, IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
SMALL OR LARGE YOU PLAYED A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN SEEING UTRGV IN THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
COME TO FRUITION. THANK YOU, GRACIAS.
WHEN I LIVED IN PUERTO RICO, IF YOU LIVED IN A POOR COMMUNITY IN PUERTO RICO, YOU WANTED
TO BE AN ENGINEER, A LAWYER, OR A DOCTOR. SO I DECIDED THAT I WANTED TO BE A DOCTOR,
AFTER BEING AUTO MECHANIC FOR A FEW MONTHS I DECIDE TODAY PURSUE PREMED BUT AFTER SEVERAL
YEARS MY FAMILY AND I, MY MOTHER AND I COULD NOT AFFORD A COLLEGE EDUCATION SO I DECIDED
BE ALL YOU CAN BE, JOIN THE AIR FORCE. AND SINCE I WANTED TO BE A MEDICAL DOCTOR
I CHOSE TO BE AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN AND I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ALMOST FOUR
YEARS TO WORK HAND IN HAND SIDE BY SIDE WITH NURSES, DOCTORS AND OTHER MEDICAL PROFESSORS
IN THE PROFESSION TO REALIZE ONE THING, I DID NOT WANT TO BE A MEDICAL DOCTOR.
SO I DECIDED TO PURSUE MY DREAM, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY WE ARE CELEBRATING TODAY YOUR
DREAM, YOU HAVE TAKEN THE CHALLENGE. YOU HAVE NAVIGATED THROUGH PROCESS.
YOU ARE HERE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BECOME A MEDICAL DOCTOR, YOU ARE HERE BECAUSE YOU WANT
TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF SO MANY COMMUNITIES IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND BEYOND
AND FOR THAT WE SAY CONGRATULATIONS AND FOR THAT WE SAY THANK YOU.
YOU ARE ENTERING A WONDERFUL ENVIRONMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY
AND THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE. NOT TOO LONG AGO WHEN THE LCME BODY FOR THE
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE CAME TO VISIT US AND PRESIDENT BAILEY AND DR.�FRANK FERN�NDEZ AND I,
THE TEAM SAID, THIS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE WILL BE THE ENVY OF MANY SCHOOLS OF MEDICINE THROUGHOUT
THE NATION, AND YOU KNOW WHY? YES, BECAUSE WE HAVE STATE OF THE ART FACILITIES
BUT MORE IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE HAVE OUTSTANDING FACULTY, BECAUSE WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT COHORT
OF STUDENTS, BECAUSE WE HAVE GREAT LEADERSHIP, BECAUSE OUR FACULTY AND OUR STAFF AND THE
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE HAVE WORKED VERY HARD TO MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE.
THIS HAS, INDEED, BEEN A COMMUNITY EFFORT AS DR.�BAILEY INDICATED, SO WE THANK ALL
OF YOU FOR MAKING THIS REALITY TODAY COME TRUE.
THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THIS DREAM. TO ALL THE PARENTS, FAMILIES, GUESTS, FRIENDS
FOR STUDENTS IN THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, WE SAY
[SPEAKING IN SPANISH]>>THEIR SUCCESS HAS BEEN IN GREAT PART DUE
TO THE SUPPORT THAT YOU HAVE PROVIDED BUT MOVING FORWARD THEY WILL EVEN NEED MORE OF
YOUR SUPPORT TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT UTRGV AND THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.
UTRGV AND THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IS HAVING A GREAT IMPACT.
IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS, WE OPENED A CLINIC, A HEALTH CLINIC WITH THE SCHOOL OF NURSING
IN COLLABORATION, WITH THE MEDICAL SCHOOL IN MCALLEN, HARLINGEN, A UNIT THAT WILL SERVE
4500 PATIENTS THROUGHOUT THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN A YEAR.
AGAIN THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE COMING TOGETHER WITH THE COLLEGE OF HEALTH AFFAIRS AND OTHERS
TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY. SO TO OUR STUDENTS I SAY, THANK YOU FOR BEING
HERE, THANK YOU FOR TAKING THIS CHALLENGE, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SERVE DURING YOUR STAY
HERE, ONE OF THE MOST AND YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT YOU SERVE
BUT ALSO TO THE FAMILIES, TO THE COMMUNITY AND THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND TO THIS GREAT
NATION. SO ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, WE WILL
HAVE MANY GENERATIONS OF MEDICAL STUDENTS HERE AT UTRGV, BUT YOU WILL FOREVER HOLD THE
HONOR, THE PRIVILEGE AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING THE INAUGURAL CLASS OF THE SCHOOL
OF MEDICINE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY.
FELICIDADES, GRACIAS AND WE WISH YOU THE BEST. [APPLAUSE]
>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH PROVOST RODR�GUEZ. I WOULD LIKE NOW TO INTRODUCE DR.�FRANCISCO
FERN�NDEZ. DR.�FERN�NDEZ IS PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT
OF PSYCHIATRY, NEUROLOGY AND NEUROSCIENCES, THE FOUNDING DEAN OF THE UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.
DR.�FERN�NDEZ RECEIVED HIS MEDICAL DEGREE FROM SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN BOSTON.
HE COMPLETED AN INTERNSHIP, A RESIDENCY IN PSYCHIATRY AT THE MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
AND IS BOARD CERTIFIED IN PSYCHIATRY. HE SERVED AS A FACULTY MEMBER AT ANDERSON
AND BAYLOR MEDICINE, HE HAS BEEN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, LOYOLA, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
AND SERVING AS CHAIRMAN OF THE PSYCHIATRY DEPARTMENT IN EACH INSTITUTION.
IN TAMPA HE ALSO DIRECTED THE UNIVERSITY’S INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH IN PSYCHIATRY AND NEUROSCIENCES.
DR.�FERN�NDEZ IS AN EXPERT IN THE PSYCHIATRIC COMPLICATIONS OF THE MEDICALLY AND SURGICALLY
ILL. HE CURRENTLY SERVES AS PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN
COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRIST AND WAS A RECIPIENT OF THE SIMON BOLIVAR AWARD FOR HIS WORK ON
AIDS IN HISPANIC COMMUNITIES. IN 2015, HE RECEIVED THE PHYSICIAN OF THE
YEAR AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL HISPANIC ASSOCIATION. PLEASE JOIN ME IN A WARM APPLAUSE, DR.�FERN�NDEZ.
[APPLAUSE] [APPLAUSE]
>>THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH. YOU WERE TOLD NEVER TO APOLOGIZE FOR A LECTURE
OR PRESENTATION. MY VOICE IS USUALLY A SOFT ONE, BUT IF IT
WEAKNESS, FORGIVE ME. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE WHITE COAT CEREMONY.
NOW I MAY LOOK LIKE I’M OUT TODAY AND THERE’S A REASON WHY I HAVE A SHORT COAT, I HAVE A
SHORT COAT AND THE STUDENTS KNOW THIS BECAUSE I TOLD THEM THAT AS THE INAUGURAL CLASS ILL
NOT WEAR A LONG COAT TILL 2020 IN THEIR HONOR. [APPLAUSE]
>>YOU WOULD THINK THAT THE WHITE COAT CEREMONY IS RELATIVELY THE SAME BUT I WILL TELL YOU
IT’S QUITE DIFFERENT EVERYWHERE YOU GO. IT IS TRUE THAT IT IS AROUND THE CENTRAL THEME
TAKING THE FIRST STEP IN JOURNEY IN MEDICINE AND PLEDGING YOUR INTENT TO ETHICAL AN HONORABLE
BEHAVIOR ALWAYS. BUT LISTEN CAREFULLY ALSO TO WHAT YOU’RE SAYING
TODAY AND I URGE YOU TO REFLECT ON YOUR OATH FREQUENTLY IN THIS JOURNEY BECAUSE TODAY IS
MUCH MORE THAN JUST A RITUAL OF INITIATION. SO AT THE RISK OF SOUNDING LIKE FRAZIER, I’M
LISTENING. [LAUGHTER]
>>SOON AFTER STARTING CLASSES ON MONDAY, YOU WILL FIND AMONG US, AMONG YOUR FACULTY
MENTORS WHO WILL SERVE AS THE FOUNDATION FOR SELFINSTRUCTION, LIFELONG PROBLEM SOLVING
AND TRIUMPH IN YOUR CAREERS. APART FROM LEARNING THE SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATIONS
OF MEDICINE, ONE OF THE TASKS THAT THE FACULTY WILL INCULCATE IN YOU IS TO ALWAYS REMAIN
INTERESTED AS YOU HEARD FROM THE CHANCELLOR’S FATHER IN THE HUMAN CONDITION.
THAT IS AFTER ALL WHAT THE PENS THAT YOU HAVE ON YOUR LAPEL FROM THE ROP FOUNDATION IS ALL
ABOUT. BUT HOW DOES ONE DO THIS?
IT DIDN’T COME TO IT EASILY AND I WAS OVER TIME AND IT WAS THANKS TO THREE PEOPLE, ONE,
NED WHO WAS THE CHAIR OF THE OPTIMAL CARE COMMITTEE AT MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL,
ANOTHER GEORGE MURRAY WHO WAS THE HEAD OF THE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM FOR CONSULTATION LIAISON
PSYCHIATRY, PSYCHIATRY OF THE MEDICALLY AND SURGICALLY ILL.
AND THE THIRD WAS AVERY WHO WAS THE INVESTIGATOR OF AN INCREDIBLE PROJECT CALLED OMEGA PROJECT
THAT FOCUSED ON DEATH AND DYING, SO YOU PROBABLY THINK, HOW MUCH MORE MAROSE CAN THIS MAN GET.
I WILL TELL YOU THAT IT WAS A MODEL THAT FOR ME HELPED ME MODEL MYSELF AND AS PHYSICIANS
THEIR EMPHASIS ON REMAINING UNDISTRACTED AND UNDAUNTED AT THE TASK AT HAND BY LISTENING
CAREFULLY TO ADDRESS THE SENSE OF UNCERTAINTY AND SOLITUDE THAT MANY OF YOUR PATIENTS WILL
FACE AS THEY GO THROUGH MEDICINE AND WHAT WITH DO WITH THEM IN MEDICINE.
UNDOUBTEDLY THE TOOL OF LISTENING CAN BE KEY IN THE SUCCESSES OF YOUR LIFE AS PHYSICIANS.
FOR NED, GEORGE AND AVERY I LEARNED HOW LISTENING CAN INSPIRE YOU AND BY ITSELF IT’S THERAPEUTIC,
IT’S PERHAPS AS THERAPEUTIC AS ANY OTHER PROCEDURE OR INTERVENTION THAT WE HAVE IN MEDICINE.
BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, LISTENING HELPS YOU LEARN AND LEARNING FROM YOUR PATIENTS YOU
WILL BECOME A MUCH BETTER PHYSICIAN. WHEN I WAS FIRST ANNOUNCED AS INAUGURAL DEAN,
I WAS IN THE AUDITORIUM IN HARLINGEN SO IT WAS THE THREE FRANCISCOS AND THE RAY.
[LAUGHTER]>>THAT’S HIS FIRST NAME.
AND IMAGINE MY SURPRISE TO HAVE SOMEONE FROM THE MEDIA ASK ME A PROVOCATIVE QUESTION.
THEY ASKED ME HOW I WOULD RELATE TO THE MEXICANAMERICANS IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY.
THOSE OF YOU THAT WERE THERE MIGHT REMEMBER MY RESPONSE AND THAT THERE WERE FIVE CORE
VALUES TO HISPANICS THAT CUT ACROSS ALL CULTURES AND SUB CULTURES AND ALLOWED US TO RELATE
TO EACH OTHER HEART TO HEART. BUT AS I PREPARE I PREPARED TO AND AS I READ
YOUR OATH, I SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT IS PART OF THE COMMITMENT THAT YOU’RE GOING TO
MAKE TODAY. SO THEY WERE VERY SIMPLE, FIVE COMMITMENTS
AS PART OF YOUR OATH TODAY THAT WILL MAKE PART OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AS PHYSICIANS
AND YOU WILL NEED TO FINETUNE THEM THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER.
CORAZON, RESPETO, DIGNIDAD, SENSIBILIDAD. YES, I WILL TRANSLATE.
THE FIRST ONE IS CORAZON, HEART. YOU WILL HAVE TO FEEL FOR YOUR PATIENTS.
WITH ALL OF YOUR HEARTS AND SHOW FORGIVENESS AND COME COMPASSION TO THEM.
THEIR GENERAL WELFARE AND OF THEIR FAMILIES IS WHAT IT’S IMPORTANT AND EXTENSION TO THEM
AND COMMUNITIES, AFTER ALL, REMEMBER WHAT MOST OF YOU SAID DURING YOUR INTERVIEW, THAT
IS IN PART WHY YOU CAME TO THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TO BE IN AN AREA WHERE YOU CAN DO
THE BEST FOR ALL. RESPETO, RESPECT.
RESPECT NOT JUST FOR WELLBEING BUT AS YOU HEARD IN BETWEEN THE LINES IN TERMS OF THE
CHANCELLOR’S DAD FOR HUMANITY. YOU MUST NEVER AS YOU WILL SAY IN YOUR OATH
TODAY CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE ABOVE ANYTHING OR ANYONE ELSE.
DIGNIDAD, DIGNITY. EVERYONE NO MATTER WHAT WALK OF LIFE, NATIONALITY,
POLITICS, SEXUALITY OR RELIGION ALWAYS DESERVES TO BE TREATED HONORABLY.
NO MATTER WHAT YOUR PERSONAL BELIEFS, BEHAVE AND PRACTICE AT ALL TIMES AS IF YOU’RE DRIVEN
BY A BELIEF LARGER THAN YOURSELF. IT IS THE ONE THING YOU HAVE TO ACHIEVE WITH
SINCERITY. SENSIBILIDAD.
SENSITIVITY. YOU HAVE TO FEEL FOR OTHERS AS YOU HEAR IN
OTHER TIMES AS BEING COMPASSIONATE, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND AND SHARE THE FEELINGS OF ANOTHER.
YOU ALL HAVE A PARTICULAR DIGITAL ANATOMY PROGRAM THAT ALLOWS YOU TO MOVE ON THROUGHOUT
YOUR CAREER BY LOADING YOUR OWN CASES AND CREATING A LIBRARY.
DO THE SAME THING AS YOU ENCOUNTER OTHERS’S FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS, CREATING THE LIBRARY
OF OTHERS’ FEELINGS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF BEING A PHYSICIAN AND HAVING A PREVENTIVE
IMPACT. AFFECTO OR AFFECT, THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE
BECAUSE IT’S PROBABLY THE EASIEST OF THE FIVE THAT CAME TO ME, TO HAVE A POSITIVE AFFECT
AND REMAIN OPTIMISTIC AT ALL TIMES. IT’S A STRATEGY THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE YOUR
INSURANCE TO CLEAR. [LAUGHTER]
>>IT DOES NOT REQUIRE MONEY. SO JUST BRING THAT OPTIMISM WITH YOU TO THOSE
THAT NEED CARE AND UNDERSTANDING. SO THOSE ARE THE FIVE ELEMENTS.
TODAY AS YOU WEAR YOUR WHITE COAT FOR THE FIRST TIME, PLEASE TAKE A SECOND TO THINK
ABOUT THE NEXT STEP THAT YOU WILL TAKE IN THIS ROAD AND REALIZE THAT THIS IS THE FIRST
STEP ON A JOURNEY THAT WILL BE EXCITING AND FRUSTRATING BUT WILL BE AS YOU KNOW THAT I
ALWAYS LIKE TO SAY FANTABULOUS, FANTASTIC AND FABULOUS.
DURING THE MOMENTS OF GREATEST FRUSTRATION THERE’S ONE QUOTE FROM EARNEST HUMMINGWAY
THAT I WANT TO LEAD YOU WITH, AND, YES, IT IS FROM THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA AND IT WILL
HELP YOU IN THE TRAJECTORY OF YOUR LIFE AS PHYSICIAN AND I WILL CHANGE IT A LITTLE BIT
BECAUSE MOST OF YOU WILL HAVE VERY LONG LISTS OF THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO DO, OF DUTIES,
OF SIGNOUT, SIGNON AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN BEFORE YOU CALL IT A DAY AND
GO HOME. BUT NEVER THINK OF THOSE THINGS AND NEVER
THINK OF WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE. THINK OF WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH WHAT THERE IS
AND STOP AND LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS. SO AS A MEMBER OF THE UTRGV COMMUNITY, I SPEAK
AS A FACULTY MEMBER WELCOMING YOU ON THIS TREMENDOUS JOURNEY, MAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES
AND FUTURES BE BLESSED AND REMEMBER, I’M LISTENING. [LAUGHTER]
>>THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]
>>THANK YOU SO MUCH, DR.�FERN�NDEZ, FOR THOSE WONDERFUL AND INSPIRING WORDS.
I WOULD LIKE TO NOW PRESENT THE INTERIM DEAN OF SCHOOL OF MEDICINE DR.�STEVE LIEBERMAN,
DR.�LIEBERMAN HAS PREVIOUSLY SERVED AS SENIOR DEAN FOR ADMINISTRATION AND HOLDS A JOHN P
CHAIR AT THE UT MEDICAL BRANCH IN GALVESTON AND PROFESSOR AND BOARD CERTIFIED IN INTERNAL
MEDICINE AND CHRONOLOGY, DIABETES AND METABOLISM AND CONTINUES TO PRACTICE CLINICAL AND CHRONOLOGY.
DR.�LIEBERMAN COCHAIRS THE UT SYSTEM, THIS EFFORT INVOLVING SIX PREMEDICAL AND FIVE MEDICAL
SCHOOLS IN THE UT SYSTEM, EMPHASIZES COMPETENCYBASE EDUCATION AND INTENTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF PROFESSIONAL
IDENTITY TO IMPROVE PHYSICIANS’ EDUCATION WHILE SHORTENING ITS DURATION.
DR.�LIEBERMAN HAS SERVED ON COMMITTEES ON THE NATIONAL BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS SINCE
2004 AND CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE UNITED STATES MEDICAL LICENSURE EXAMINATION MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE.
HE RECEIVED HIS UNDERGRAD DEGREE FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND COMPLETED TRAINING AT SANTA
CLARA MEDICAL CENTER FOLLOWED BY CLINICAL RESEARCH CENTER AT STANFORD.
HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE FACULTY AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE BEFORE JOINING
THE FACULTY AT UTMV. PLEASE JOIN ME IN GIVING A WARM WELCOMING
APPLAUSE TO INTERIM DEAN DR.�STEVEN LIEBERMAN. [APPLAUSE]
>>THANK YOU, DR.�VELA, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, CLASS
OF 2020. AS YOU’VE HEARD YOU HOLD A VERY SPECIAL PLACE
IN THE HISTORY OF RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND YOU REPRESENT THE FULFILLMENT OF MANY DREAMS OVER
MANY YEARS AND AS YOU’VE HEARD FROM EACH OF OUR SPEAKERS THAT MAKES YOU VERY SPECIAL.
I’M HERE TO TELL YOU YOU’RE ALSO VERY LUCKY. [LAUGHTER]
>>AND YOU’RE LUCKY BECAUSE WHEN YOU INTERVIEWED FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL I WASN’T HERE.
[LAUGHTER] BECAUSE IF I HAD BEEN HERE AND I HAD INTERVIEWED
YOU I WOULD HAVE STARTED WITH ONE SIMPLE QUESTION, SOME HAVE TOLD ME IT’S A BIT OF A TRICK QUESTION.
I WOULD HAVE ASKED WHAT KIND OF DOCTOR DO YOU WANT TO BE AND IF YOU HAD ANSWERED WITH
ANYTHING THAT ENDS IN OLOGIST OR SPECIALLY OF MEDICINE I MIGHT HAVE SHOWN YOU THE DOOR.
[LAUGHTER]>>BUT IF YOU HAD STOPPED FOR A MOMENT AND
SAID I WANT TO BE A GOOD DOCTOR, THEN YOU’D BE SITTING RIGHT THERE WHERE YOU’RE SITTING
TODAY. AND THAT’S WHY WE ARE ALL HERE.
THE FACULTY AND STAFF OF THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE TO HELP YOU BECOME A GOOD, EVEN GREAT DOCTOR.
OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS YOU’LL SPEND A LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT LEARNING BASIC SCIENCE
AND CLINICAL SCIENCE AND THESE ARE ESSENTIAL BUT NOT SUFFICIENT.
YOU’LL ALSO SPEND A LOT OF TIME REFLECTING ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A GOOD DOCTOR AND DEVELOPING
THE SKILLS AND THE PROFESSIONALISM TO ACHIEVE THAT GOAL.
AND WHAT IS A GOOD DOCTOR? AND I’M GOING TO DEVIATE FROM THE SCRIPT BECAUSE
I JUST HEARD [SPEAKING IN SPANISH]
>>I JUST HEARD FIVE ELEMENTS FROM DR.�FERN�NDEZ THAT I THINK REALLY CAPTURES WHAT A GOOD DOCTOR
IS. REMEMBER THOSE FIVE, WORK ON THOSE FIVE AND,
HEY, WE HAVE FOUR YEARS TOGETHER. LET’S TALK ABOUT THOSE FIVE A LOT.
AND KEEP IN MIND THAT A GOOD DOCTOR IS WHAT YOUR PATIENTS WANT YOU TO BE.
UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE CLASS OF 2020, BIENVENIDOS. WELCOME.
[APPLAUSE]>>BEFORE I INTRODUCE OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER,
I WANT TO EXPRESS GREAT APPRECIATION FOR THE COMMITTEE THAT’S BEEN WORKING ON THE CEREMONY
AND PLAN AND DEDICATION THAT HAS MADE A VERY SPECIAL OCCASION EXTRAORDINARILY SPECIAL AND
I PARTICULARLY WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND THANK THE TIRELESS EFFORTS OF DR.�LEO VELA FOR
HIS LEADERSHIP AND TREMENDOUS EFFORTS IN BRINGING THIS ALL TOGETHER.
THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]
>>NOW, IT IS MY DISTINCT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE DR.�DARRELL PURCH, OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER,
HE’S PRESIDENT AND CEO OF ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL COLLEGES WHICH IS THE UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION
REPRESENTING THE NATION’S MEDICAL SCHOOLS, TEACHING HOSPITALS AND ACADEMIC SOCIETIES.
THE DISTINGUISHED PHYSICIAN, EDUCATOR AND MEDICAL SCIENTISTS, DOCTOR SPEAKS ON THE NEED
FOR TRANSFORMATION AND THE NATION’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, ACADEMIC MEDICINE CAN LEAD CHANGE
ACROSS MEDICAL EDUCATION, BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH AND PATIENT CARE.
PRIOR TO BECOMING DOUBLE NC PRESIDENT, HE SERVED LEADER OF TWO INSTITUTIONS, MEDICAL
COLLEGE OF GEORGE AND MEDICAL CENTER AS I UNDERSTAND IT NOT AT THE SAME TIME.
[LAUGHTER]>>HIS COCHAIR THE LIAISON COMMITTEE ON MEDICAL
EDUCATION WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSURING THE QUALITY AND ACCREDITATION OF MEDICAL SCHOOLS
IN THE U.S. AND CANADA AND NOW SERVES AS CHAIR OF THE WASHINGTON HIGHER EDUCATION AS WELL
AS SERVING ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION.
DOCTOR IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE.
PSYCHIATRIST, CLINICAL NEUROSCIENTIST BY TRAINING, DOCTOR BEGAN A CAREER IN MENTAL SCHOOL OF
HEALTH AND RECEIVING THE OUTSTANDING SERVICE MEDAL OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC SERVICE.
NATIVE OF DENVER, HE EARNED A BACHELOR’S FROM COLORADO.
JOIN ME IN WELCOMING DR.�DARRELL TO UTRGV. [APPLAUSE]
>>IT IS TRULY HUMBLING FOR ME TO STAND HERE AND KNOW THAT ALL OF YOU TOOK TIME OUT ON
A SATURDAY MORNING TO TRAVEL A GREAT DISTANCE JUST TO HEAR ME SPEAK.
[LAUGHTER]>>I KNOW FULL WELL WHAT YOU CAME FOR AND
I PROMISE TO NOT UNDULY STAND IN THE WAY OF THE BIG EVENT BUT YOU WERE GRACIOUS ENOUGH
TO INVITE ME AND SO I WANT TO RECIPROCATE BY SHARING SOME THOUGHTS AND THE FIRST THOUGHT
WAS FORMED FOR ME IN THE LAST 24 HOURS THAT I’VE BEEN HERE.
I’VE VISITED NOW PROBABLY ABOUT 115 OR SO OF THE 143 MEDICAL SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED STATES.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN A MEDICAL SCHOOL WITH MORE BROADBASE SUPPORT FROM ITS COMMUNITY.
I AM THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS ROOM THAT HAS FAILED TO BRING PASSION, ENERGY AND HARD WORK
TO THIS PROJECT. EVERY OTHER PERSON HERE HAS PLAYED A KEY ROLE
IN THAT AND I CONGRATULATE YOU ON THAT. SO LET ME JUST ADJUST THIS.
I THINK I’M GETTING SOME BUMPING. BETTER?
I CAN’T BID AN EVENT WITHOUT BEING FLOODED WITH MEMORIES.
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE PROCESS OF MEDICAL EDUCATION THAT IT CREATES THESE MEMORIES THAT
GET BURNED INTO YOUR BRAIN AND EVEN DECADES LATER THEY ARE AS VIVID AS THEY WERE THE DAY
THEY HAPPENED, SO ONE OF THESE MEMORIES FOR ME IS MY GETTING MY WHITE COAT, NOW, WHEN
I WENT TO MEDICAL SCHOOL WE DIDN’T HAVE WHITE COAT CEREMONIES.
CHECK THE SIZE, PUT IT IN THE BAG, TOOK IT HOME AND WHEN NO ONE WAS THERE, PUT IT ON,
STOOD IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR, AND IT LOOKED TERRIBLE.
[LAUGHTER]>>I FELT LIKE AN IMPOSTER AND I THOUGHT IT
MIGHT BE THE WRONG SIZE, I CHECKED THE SIZE, I TUGGED AND PULLED AND STRAIGHTENED, WASHED
IT THREE TIMES, IT’S STILL DIDN’T SEEM TO FIT.
AND WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IS IT WILL NOT FIT. YOU’LL SEE THIS TODAY.
THE STUDENTS WILL COME UP HERE, PUT IT ON, GIVE IT A TUG AND THEY’LL LOOK A BIT UNCOMFORTABLE.
AND IT’LL FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE UNTIL YOU ARE THE RECIPIENT OF SOME TRULY INCREDIBLE GIFTS,
THINGS THAT PEOPLE GIVE YOU THAT FEW OTHERS ARE PRIVILEGED TO RECEIVE THAT REALLY HELP
SHAPE ITSELF AND HELP YOU FILL IT PROPERLY. SO FOR ME MEMORIES OF THOSE GIFTS INCLUDE
ACTUALLY THE FIRST DAY OF ANATOMY, ANATOMY IS A TOUGH COURSE AND IN THOSE DAYS IT WAS
EVEN TOUGHER BECAUSE STUDENTS DIDN’T HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF COMPUTER, COMPUTERBASED ANATOMY
PROGRAMS. WE ACTUALLY DID A DISSECTION OF A CADAVER
AND I DIDN’T KNOW THAT I COULD DO THAT, I DIDN’T KNOW THAT I COULD DO TRUE ANATOMY CLASS
AND YOU’RE HIT BY THE FORMULA AND I GOT A LITTLE MORE WOOZY ABOUT WHETHER I COULD DO
THIS AND I DID IT, AND HERE IS WHERE THE GIFT COMES IN.
THOSE ANATOMIC CADAVERS, THE SECTIONS YOU’LL BE LOOKING AT WERE HUMAN BEINGS WHO GIFTED
THEIR BODY IN DEATH TO YOU SO THAT YOU COULD START TO UNDERSTAND LIFE.
HOW MANY PEOPLE GET A GIFT LIKE THAT? I REMEMBER YOU WILL START SEEING PATIENTS
ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, ORIENTATION, EXPOSURE TO PATIENTS, PROTECTED THE PATIENTS FOR US
FOR ALMOST TWO FULL YEARS FROM US. [LAUGHTER]
>>AND THEN THEIR CAME THE DAY WHEN WE WERE ALLOWED TO GO IN ALONE WITH A A NEWLY ADMITTED
PATIENT TO THE HOSPITAL AND ACTUALLY DO A FULL HISTORY, TAKE THEIR HISTORY, DO AN EXAMINE
SO I WAS AT THE DENVER VA HOSPITAL AND WALKED INTO THE ROOM OF A GENTLEMAN WHO DID NOT LOOK
AT ALL WELL AND I PULLED MYSELF TOGETHER, WALKED UP TO THE BEDSIDE AND INTRODUCED MYSELF
BY NAME AND SAID, I AM THE MEDICAL STUDENT WHO WILL BE HELPING CARE FOR YOU AND I SAW
THIS LOOK OF WORRY. [LAUGHTER]
>>JUST SWEEP ACROSS HIS FACE. AND I I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PART OF THE WORRY
MAY HAVE BEEN HIS CONCERN ABOUT WHAT’S A MEDICAL STUDENT GOING TO DO TO HELP ME, BUT HE AND
I ACTUALLY BECAME CLOSER IN OUR RELATIONSHIP THAN IT WAS TO ANYBODY ELSE ON THE HEALTHCARE
TEAM AND I THINK IT WAS BECAUSE HE GAVE ME THE GIFT OF HIS STORY AND AS MY FRIEND DR.�FERN�NDEZ
POINTED OUT, I LISTENED. IT WAS A GIFT EXCHANGE THAT WAS JUST STUNNING
AND WHEN I LISTENED, WHAT I FOUND OUT IS THAT HE HAD FOUGHT THROUGH THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE,
THE SAME WINTER MY FATHER FOUGHT THAT BATTLE AND I SUDDENLY SAW HIM NOT AS A FRAILILL CONCERNED
WORRIED PERSON WHICH WAS A MEMBER OF THAT GREATEST GENERATION WHO WAS NOW GIVING NEGLECT
GIFT OF ALLOWING ME TO CARE FOR HIM. ONE OF MY MOST VIVID MEMORIES AND YOU’LL EXPERIENCE
THIS WHEN YOU DO YOUR ROTATION, FOR SOME REASON, BABIES HAVE BEEN BORN FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS
WITHOUT THE HELP OF DOCTORS, SO I’M NOT SURE WHY BUT FOR SOME REASON THIS SEEMS TO FEEL
LIKE A SPECIAL RIGHT OF PASSAGE FOR PHYSICIANS AND PARDON THE EXPRESSION, IT’S ONE THAT’S
VERY COMMONLY USED ON THE LABOR DECK WHERE DELIVERIES OCCUR.
IT’S CALL YOU WAIT FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO CATCH THE BABY.
[LAUGHTER]>>SO I WAS AT DENVER GENERAL HOSPITAL AT
THE MATERNITY UNIT ON OBSTETRICS AND I HAD WATCHED DELIVERY AFTER DELIVERY AND DUTIES
OF PREDELIVERY WORKUPS AND FINALLY ONE DAY WHEN I REALLY WASN’T EXPECTING IT THE ATTENDING
SAID, THIS IS YOUR DELIVERY. AND THINGS WERE READY.
IT WAS UNCOMPLICATED. I KNEW EXACTLY THE STEPS I HAD TO TAKE, THE
MOTHER DID HER JOB AND THIS BABY WAS DELIVERED INTO MY HANDS.
AND THE FACULTY PHYSICIAN CAME TOWARD ME AND LEANED IN AND I WAS CERTAIN HE WAS GOING TO
SAY SOMETHING LIKE MY SON TODAY YOU ARE A DOCTOR.
[LAUGHTER]>>WHAT HE SAID WAS I REALLY WISH YOU WOULDN’T
HOLD THE BABY QUITE SO TIGHTLY. [LAUGHTER]
>>SO I RELAXED MY GRIP, BUT MANAGED TO STILL HOLD THE BABY, AND ONLY LATER DID I REALIZE
AFTER DOING MORE DELIVERIES AND FINISHING THAT ROTATION THAT THESE MOTHERS, THESE FATHERS
HAD GIVEN ME THE GIFT OF BEING A PART OF ONE OF THE MOST INTIMATE MOMENTS OF THEIR LIVES.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE PRIVILEGE TO RECEIVE A GIFT OF THAT MAGNITUDE?
IT’S THOSE GIFTS THAT SMOOTH THE COAT COMFORTABLE, SOME OF THE GIFTS YOU RECEIVE WILL BE GIVEN
BY MY FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES UP HERE, THE TEACHERS YOU’LL REMEMBER FOR THE REST OF YOUR
LIVES. WHEN I WAS WITH STUDENTS AT LUNCH AND I SAW
YOUR GIFT IS FRIENDSHIP AND SUPPORT. MY BEST FRIEND TODAY I MET ON THE FIRST DAY
OF MEDICAL SCHOOL. THOSE GIFTS ALSO ARE EQUALLY PRECIOUS.
BUT BUT THERE’S ALSO ONE OTHER THING I WANT TO MENTION THAT MAKES THE COAT FINALLY FIT,
IT WILL ONLY FEEL RIGHT AND IT WILL ONLY FEEL LIKE YOUR COAT AND LIKE YOU DESERVE IT TO
THE DEGREE THAT YOU ADHERE TO THE ETHICAL COMMITMENTS YOU’RE MAKING TO YOUR PROFESSION.
NOW, YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE AN OATH, WE WILL ALL WITNESS IT.
AND IT’S NOT THAT LONG, BUT IT SEEMS COMPLICATED. EMBEDDED IN IT, THOUGH, ARE THE FOUR KEY PRINCIPLES
OF MEDICAL ETHICS. EVERY TEXTBOOK YOU PICK UP OF THE ETHICS OF
PRACTICING MEDICINE HAS FOUR SIMPLE ITEMS THAT CONSTITUTE THE THINGS YOU NEED TO ALWAYS
DO. SO NUMBER ONE, IT’S CALLED BENEFICENCE, SIMPLY
MEANS ALWAYS TRYING TO DO GOOD FOR YOUR PATIENT. EVERY DOCTOR I KNOW WAKES UP EVERY MORNING
ATTENDING TO AND DOING THEIR VERY BEST TO DO GOOD FOR THEIR PATIENTS.
I REALLY DON’T THINK WE STRUGGLE IN MEDICINE WITH THAT.
I DON’T BELIEVE YOU WILL STRUGGLE WITH THAT AT ALL.
WHEN I HEARD THE CONCERNS YOU EXPRESSED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE AND HOW TO MAKE IT
BETTER, THAT PROVED TO ME YOU WILL DO GOOD, NOW THE SECOND PRINCIPLE OF THE TWO IS DO
NO HARM. NOW, AGAIN THAT SOUNDS FAIRLY STRAIGHTFORWARD
AND SIMPLE, WHO WHAT PHYSICIAN WOULD WAKE UP IN THE MORNING INTENDING TO DO HARM, NONE
DO. BUT AS MEDICINE HAS BECAME MORE POWERFUL,
IT ACTUALLY HAS BECOME MORE POWERFUL TO DO HARM, UNINTENTIONALLY, INADVERTENTLY IT CAN
HAPPEN, I KNOW MANY MY LIFE, IN MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND I WOULD BET THERE ARE MANY
PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM WHO KNOW OF SOMEONE WHO WAS BEING CARED FOR WITH THE BEST OF INTENTIONS
BUT WHO ENDED UP SUFFERING UNFORTUNATELY BECAUSE HARM OCCURRED, PERHAPS THE SADDEST CASES FOR
ME ARE THOSE TIMES AT THE END OF LIFE WHEN WHAT THE PATIENT AND THE FAMILY NEED MOST
IS SAFE PASSAGE AND IN OUR ENTHUSIASM TO DO MORE WE INADVERTENTLY PROLONG SUFFERING AND
INCREASE THE STRESS FOR THE FAMILY. SO DOING NO HARM AS OUR MEDICINE BECOMES MORE
POTENT CAN BE A CHALLENGE. THE THIRD ONE IS AUTONOMY AND THERE’S A TRAP
HERE. AUTONOMY DOES NOT MEAN THE INDEPENDENCE OF
THE DOCTOR, THE AUTONOMY BETWEEN THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE PATIENT.
YOU ARE NOT IN CHARGE, THE PATIENT IS IN CHARGE. MEDICINE CAN SOMETIMES CREATE THE TEMPTATION
FOR YOU TO BECOME INTERNALISTIC, TAKE CONTROL, THE DECISIONS ARE NOT YOURS, YOU HOPEFULLY
WILL BECOME ADEPT AT SHARING WITH THE PATIENTS SO THAT THE PATIENT’S INTEREST ARE ALWAYS
THERE. AND THEN THE FOURTH ONE, AND THIS IS SO IMPORTANT
FOR YOU AS A CLASS, FOR THIS MEDICAL SCHOOL, FOR THIS REGION AND FOR THIS STATE, EVERY
TEXTBOOK YOU LOOK AT OF MEDICAL ETHICS SAYS PHYSICIANS SHOULD SEEK SOCIAL JUSTICE.
NOW, THAT’S NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT, IT IS AN ETHICAL STATEMENT AND WHAT IT MEANS
IS IT ISN’T JUST THE PATIENT IN FRONT OF YOU YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR, IT’S THE POPULATION
OF PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR.
THIS IS ONE WHERE WE STRUGGLE AS A PROFESSION AND AS WE STRUGGLE AS A NATION.
I LOOK AT HEALTH CARE ALL AROUND THIS COUNTRY AND THE THING THAT SADDENS ME THE MOST IS
DESPITE BEING THE RICHEST, MOST POWERFUL NATION ON EARTH WE ARE A COUNTRY IN WHICH THERE ARE
HEALTHCARE HAVES AND HEALTHCARES HAVE NOTS. AND THERE’S PROBABLY NO WHERE IN THE COUNTRY
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THAT ANYMORE STARKLY THAN RIGHT HERE IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY.
I SAW THE VAN THAT YOU’LL BE USING TO TRAVEL OUT TO THE COLONIA AND TRY TO GIVE HEALTH
CARE TO PEOPLE WHO JUST DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO IT.
THIS IS GOING TO MAKE A STATEMENT THAT SOCIAL JUSTICE DOES MATTER, NOT AS A POLITICAL ISSUE,
NOT WHAT THEY ARGUE ABOUT IN CONGRESS, BUT IT MATTERS AS A PROFESSIONAL ETHICAL COMMITMENT
FOR US. MY COATS STILL FEEL A LITTLE AWKWARD AND I
THINK THE REASON FOR THAT IS WHEN I WENT TO MEDICAL SCHOOL I ACTUALLY BELIEVED WITH MY
CLASSMATES THAT WE WOULD HAVE ALL OF THIS FIXED BY THE TIME I REACHED THIS POINT IN
LIFE. YOU HAD TOLD ME THAT WE WOULD STILL BE A COUNTRY WHERE ONE OUT OF TEN PEOPLE DOESN’T
EVEN HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, WHERE WE HAVE CHILDREN GOING UNVACCINATED AND PRENATAL CARE
IS UNBELIEVABLE, I WOULDN’T HAVE BELIEVED I. WE HAVE MADE PROGRESS.
ONE IN TEN AMERICANS IS ACTUALLY THE LOWEST OF UNINSURED WE HAVE EVER SEEN IN OUR HISTORY.
WE ARE ON OUR WAY. SO I WOULD LIKE YOU FOR YOU TO GIVE ME A GIFT.
WHAT I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO DO IS PROMISE THAT YOU WILL JOIN WITH ME WITH THE PEOPLE
UP HERE WHO HAD BECOME YOUR FACULTY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN THESE ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND
LET’S TRY TO REALLY TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THAT ELEMENT OF CREATING A JUST SYSTEM, SO
BRING THE HAVE NOTS OUT OF THE COLD, FOR ME THAT WOULD BE THE GREATEST GIFT I COULD EVER
RECEIVE FROM YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
[APPLAUSE]>>WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR US JOINING US TODAY
AND THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR THE REMARKS TO OUR CHARTER CLASS AND THANK YOU DR.�LIEBERMAN
FOR THE ENCOURAGING COMMENTS TO OUR MEDICAL STUDENTS.
STUDENTS, TODAY YOU HAVE EMBARKED IN A JOURNEY THAT WILL BE LONG CHALLENGING AND SOMETIMES
FRUSTRATING BUT ONE AS YOU’VE HEARD THAT WILL BRING YOU THE GREATEST OF FULFILLMENT.
ON THIS HISTORICAL DAY FOR THE UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE EVERYONE HERE IS TO CELEBRATE
WITH YOU. AS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED THE WHITE COAT CEREMONY
IS FILLED WITH SYMBOLISM AND THE CLOAKING OF STUDENTS WITH WHITE COATS IS A SPECIALLY
SYMBOLIC COMPONENT OF THE CEREMONY THAT WELCOMES STUDENTS INTO THE MEDICAL PROFESSION.
EACH OF THE STUDENTS’ CODES HAS BEEN PIN WITH A LAPEL PIN DONATED BY THE ARNOLD GOLD.
STUDENTS BY PARTICIPATING IN THIS CLOAKING YOU ALSO AFFIRM THAT YOU WILL UPHOLD THE HIGHEST
ETHICAL AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFETIME AS A PRACTITIONER OF THE ART
AND SCIENCE OF MEDICINE. THIS COAT WILL BE YOUR CONSTANT FRIEND IN
YOUR JOURNEY AS A STUDENT. IT WILL BE WITH YOU WHEN YOU SEE YOUR FIRST
PATIENT. WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE THE EMBRACE OF A GRATEFUL
PATIENT. YES, IT WILL BE THERE WHEN YOU LAUGH AND,
YES, WHEN YOU CRY WITH YOUR PATIENTS. ON YOUR COAT WILL FALL TEARS OF JOY, MAYBE
AFTER YOU DELIVER YOUR FIRST BABY OR THE TIERS TEARS OF A PATIENT OR FAMILY MEMBER AS A RESULT
OF UNBEARABLE SUFFERING OR DESPAIR BUT NEVER FORGET THE INCREDIBLE PRIVILEGE OF WEARING
THIS COAT THAT WILL SYMBOLIZE HOPE AND TRUST FOR THE MANY PATIENTS YOU WILL SERVE.
I NOW CALL ON DR.�FERN�NDEZ AND DR.�LEIBERMAN TO PLEASE TAKE YOUR PLACE IN STAGE TO COMMENCE
THE CLOAKING. ALSO, I WOULD LIKE TO ASK CHANCELLOR, PRESIDENT
BAILEY, PROVOST RODR�GUEZ AND DOCTOR TO TAKE YOUR PLACE TO FORM THE LINE.
STUDENTS AS I CALL YOUR NAME PLEASE ENTER THE STAGE TO BE CLOAKED BY DR.�FERN�NDEZ
AND LIEBERMAN, PROVOST RODR�GUEZ AND DR.�CROAGE, PLEASE TAKE THE STAGE.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU TO PLEASE HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE UNTIL ALL
STUDENTS HAVE BEEN CLOAKED.
[NAMES] [NAMES]
[NAMES] [APPLAUSE]
>>LET’S CONGRATULATE OUR STUDENTS. [SHOUTING]
>>THE STUDENTS WILL NOW RECITE AN OATH THAT AFFIRMS
THEIR SOLEMN COMMITMENT TO THE MEDICAL PROFESSION, TO THEIR PATIENTS AND TO THE HUMANISTIC PRACTICES
OF MEDICINE, I WOULD NOW LIKE TO CALL ON CLASS REPRESENTATIVE TO JOIN ME ON THE PODIUM TO
LEAD THE RECITATION OF THE PROFESSION OF VALUES. [APPLAUSE]
>>ALL THE STUDENTS FROM THE CLASS OF 2020 PLEASE STAND TO RECITE THE OATH.
ALSO I INVITE ALL THE PHYSICIANS OF THE AUDIENCE TO JOIN AND THE OATH IS FOUND IN THE PROGRAM
BROCHURE ON THE NEXT TO THE LAST PAGE. PLEASE RAISE YOUR RIGHT HANDS.
I SWEAR TO FULFILL TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY AND JUDGMENT THIS COVENANT.
I WILL RESPECT THE HARD ONE SCIENTIFIC GAINS OF THOSE PHYSICIANS AND WHOSE STEPS I WALK
AND GLADLY SHARE SUCH KNOWLEDGE AS IS MIND WITH THOSE WHO FOLLOW.
I WILL APPLY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SICK ALL MEASURES WHICH ARE REQUIRED AVOIDING TRAMPS
OF OVERTREATMENT AND I WILL REMEMBER THAT THERE’S ART TO MEDICINE AS WELL AS SCIENCE
AND AT WARMTH, SYMPATHY WEIGH AND I WILL NOT BE ASHAME TO SAY I NOR NOT NOR WOULD I FAIL
TO CALL ON MY COLLEAGUES WHEN THE SKILLS OF ANOTHER ARE NEEDED FOR A PATIENT’S RECOVERY.
I WILL RESPECT THE PRIVACY OF MY PATIENTS FOR THEIR PROBLEMS ARE NOT DISCLOSES TODAY
ME THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW. MOST SPECIALLY MUST I TRY WITH CARES OF MATTER
IN THE LIFE AND DEATH. THIS AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY MUST BE FACED
WITH GREAT HUMBLENESS AND AWARENESS OF MYON FRAILTY, ABOVE ALL I MUST NOT PLAY A GOD.
I WILL REMEMBER THAT I DO NOT TREAT A FEVER CHART, A CANCEROUS GROWTH BUT A SICK HUMAN
BEING WHOSE ILLNESS MAY AFFECT THE PERSON’S FAMILY AND ECONOMIC STABILITY.
MY RESPONSIBILITY INCLUDES THESE RELATED PROBLEMS, IF I AM TO CARE ADEQUATELY FOR THE SICK.
I WILL PREVENT DISEASE WHENEVER I CAN FOR PREVENTION IS PREFERABLE TO CURE.
I WILL REMEMBER THAT I REMAIN A MEMBER OF SOCIETY WITH SPECIAL OBLIGATIONS TO ALL MY
FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS, THOSE SOUND OF MIND AND BODY AS WELL AS THE INFIRM, IF I DO NOT VIOLATE
THIS OATH MAY I ENJOY LIFE IN ART RESPECTED WHILE I LIVE AND REMEMBER WITH AFFECTION THEREAFTER.
MY I ALWAYS ACT TO PRESERVE TRADITIONS OF MY CALLING AND JOY EXPERIENCE OF THOSE SEEKING
MY HELP. THANK YOU.
[APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I NOW PRESENT TO YOU THE CHARTER CLASS OF THE UTRGV NEWLY CLOAKED STUDENTS OF THE SCHOOL
OF MEDICINE. [LAUGHTER]
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>EVERYONE, PLEASE BE SEATED.
STUDENTS AGAIN ON THIS HISTORICAL DAY FOR THE UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE EVERYONE ATTENDING
THIS CELEBRATION JOINED BY THE DEDICATED FACULTY, WISH YOU THE GREATEST SUCCESS IN YOUR EDUCATION,
TRAINING AND YOUR LIFE AS A PHYSICIAN. DURING THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, YOU WILL ACQUIRE
AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS, BUT DO NOT EVER ALLOW WHAT YOU KNOW TO CHANGE
WHO YOU ARE. THE IDEALS OF COMPASSION, EMPATHY AND SERVICE
THAT YOU BROUGHT TO MEDICAL SCHOOL WILL ALWAYS SERVE YOU WELL IN THE CARE OF YOUR PATIENTS
AND THESE VIRTUES WILL NEVER BE PASS. I OFFER THE FOLLOWING STORY, THE STORY WAS
TOLD BY KATHERINE FROM HARVARD, WHEN SHE DELIVERED THE CLINICAL CENTER GROUND ROUNDS AT THE NRH,
SHE SAY THAT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS OF HER MEDICAL TRAINING OCCURRED WHEN
HE WAS PAIRED WITH AN INTERN WHO WAS SEEING PATIENTS ALREADY SEEING PATIENTS.
I THINK SHE MENTIONED SHE WAS A THIRDYEAR MEDICAL STUDENT.
THE TWO WERE AT DINNER ONE TIME AND SHE SAYS THEIR DUTIES HAD FINISHED, WHEN THE INTERN
DECIDED TO LOOK INTO ON THE 7YEAROLD WITH A TUMOR, THE CHILD WAS IN THE LATE STAGES
OF DISEASE AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT SHE WOULD NOT SURVIVE.
ACCORDING TO DR.�TRETWAY, STILL THE INTERN SUMMONED THE COURAGE TO ENTER THE ROOM WHERE
THE PATIENT’S PARENTS AND BOTH SETS OF GRANDPARENTS SAID VIGIL.
THE INTERN SIMPLY WALKED OVER AND WORDLESSLY EMBRACED THE PARENTS AND DR.�TRETWAY SAYS,
I LEARNED AN IMPORTANT LESSON THAT NIGHT. SHE SAID I DON’T EVEN RECALL THE INTERN’S
NAME BUT I LEARNED THAT EVEN WHEN THERE’S NOTHING MORE YOU CAN DO, YOU CAN BARE WITNESS
TO THE PAIN IN THE ROOM. DOCTORS CAN HAVE A PROFOUND IMPACT WITH THEIR
KINDNESS AND COMPASSION, SHE CONCLUDED HER TALK WITH THE FOLLOWING QUOTE, I’VE LEARNED
THAT PATIENTS WILL FORGET WHAT YOU SAID, PATIENTS WILL FORGET WHAT YOU DID BUT PATIENTS WILL
NEVER FORGET HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL. WHAT A FITTING STORY FOR THIS MOST PRECIOUS
CEREMONY. STUDENTS, WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU AND WE WISH
YOU GOD SPEED IN YOUR JOURNEY. I NOW WOULD LIKE TO INVITE THE STUDENTS TO
JOIN US ON STAGE. AND PLEASE, I’D ASK EVERYONE TO PLEASE STAY
SEATED. WE HAVE NOT CONCLUDED THE PROGRAM SO PLEASE
STAY SEATED. I WOULD LIKE TO JUST POINT OUT TO THANK ALL
OF YOU FOR YOUR ATTENDANCE AS YOU HAVE WITNESSED A MOST PRECIOUS CEREMONY.
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OF OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO ARE HERE VIP GUESTS AND YOU THE COMMUNITY
THAT HAVE COME HERE, THE FAMILIES OF THESE STUDENTS TO SUPPORT THEM.
SO ON BEHALF OF UTRGV AND THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, THE FAMILIES, AS I SAID
THE SPECIAL GUESTS, THE STUDENTS WILL NEED YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT DURING
THEIR EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY. AS WAS SAID, THERE WILL BE A RECEPTION AFTER
THIS EVENT. I WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN THE EVENT FORMALLY
CONCLUDES. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE ARNOLD P. GOLD FOUNDATION
PROVIDED A GRANT FOR CEREMONY AND PENS THAT THE STUDENTS HAVE ON THEIR LAPEL AND AGAIN
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE PLANNING COMMITTEE. WE HAVE WORKED, PLANNED THIS EVENT NOW FOR
SEVERAL MONTHS, THOSE COMMITTEE MEMBERS KNOW WHAT I MEAN BUT IT’S BEEN A LABOR OF LOVE
TO TO DO THAT AND IT’S WONDERFUL THAT IT HAS CULMINATED IN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL EVENT.
WE RECEIVED GREETINGS FROM THE DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN SAN ANTONIO, THE UT
HEALTH SCIENCE IN SAN ANTONIO A MESSAGE, I WOULD LIKE TO READ FROM DEAN FRANCISCO GONZ�LEZ
SCARANO. HE SAYS FROM THE FACULTY AND STAFF OF THE
UT SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT SAN ANTONIO, OUR WARMEST CONGRATULATIONS ON THE MOMENTUS OCCASION.
THE
FOUNDATION FOR THIS MEDICAL SCHOOL WAS SET A DECADE AGO WITH REGIONAL ACADEMIC HEALTHCARE
IN HARLINGEN AND FACULTY WHO POPULATED OVER A DECADE.
WE ARE HONORED AND EXCITED TO HAVE HAD A PART IN MAKING THIS MEDICAL SCHOOL A REALITY.
WE WISH THE STUDENTS OF THIS FIRST CLASS A TERRIFIC MEDICAL CAREER AND WE ALREADY LOOK
FORWARD TO YOUR GRADUATION IN 2020. AND TO MANY YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
AFTER THAT, SO WE THANK DR.�SCARANO, DEAN OF SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT SAN ANTONIO FOR SENDING
US THOSE COMMENTS TO US AND THE STUDENTS. I JUST WANT TO SAY AGAIN AFTER THE CEREMONY
FORMALLY CONCLUDES WE WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO JOIN US IN THE RECEPTION.
THE RECEPTION WILL BE WAITING OUTSIDE THE PERFORMING ARTS FACILITY, SHUTTLE BUSES THAT
WILL TAKE YOU TO THE RECEPTION AREA AND THEY WILL ALSO BE BRINGING YOU BACK FROM THE RECEPTION
BACK HERE TO THE PERFORMING ARTS FACILITY. WE HAVE THE RECEPTION, WE ANTICIPATE WE HAVE
SET TWO HOURS FOR THE RECEPTION. YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY THE TWO HOURS BUT WE
WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO STAY, WE WERE GOING TO HAVE A BIG SOUTH TEXAS CELEBRATION AS THIS
WHITE COAT CEREMONY CONCLUDES. AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH AND WE WILL NOW,
I THINK, I WAS TOLD THAT WE WILL HAVE THE STAGE COME UP NOT THE STAGE BUT THE CURTAINS.
AGAIN, LET ME JUST SAY WHEN A CURTAIN COMES UP, IF YOU CAN STAY IN YOUR SEATS.
WE WILL BE PROVIDING YOU THE VIDEOS, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND YOU WILL NOT MISS OUT ON ANYTHING, VIDEOS
FOR A LONG MEMORY. AND WE WILL JUST GO AHEAD AND I WILL WAIT
TILL I GET THE CUE THAT THE CURTAIN WILL RISE. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO TAP IN SO I WON’T DO THAT
FOR YOU. BUT LET ME JUST SAY THAT I SEE SOME WONDERFUL
FRIENDS FROM ACROSS THE VALLEY AND THIS HAS BEEN A VISION AND A DREAM THAT HAS BEEN FOR
SO MANY, SO MANY HAVE SACRIFICED TO SEE MANY DAYS TODAY AND IT’S SO WONDERFUL AND MANY
PEOPLE THAT I CAN THINK THAT I WISH WERE HERE TO SEE THIS MOMENT WHO HAVE, INDEED, GIVEN
SO MUCH OF THEIR LIVES TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A MEDICAL SCHOOL HERE IN THE VALLEY.
SO A GREAT GRATITUDE TO ALL WHO HAVE WORKED TOWARDS THIS HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY UT SYSTEMS,
PARTNERS, ELECTED OFFICIALS, THIS HAS TRULY BEEN INCREDIBLE LABOR OF LOVE FOR ALL OF US.
AGAIN, I HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED THE CEREMONY. I’M GOING TO NOW STEP BACK THERE IF THEY LET
ME BACK THERE. ARE WE GOING TO HAVE THE CURTAINS RISE NOW?
[LAUGHTER]>>I WAS TOLD DR.�VELA YOU LOVE TO SPEAK,
BUT I DO BUT I THINK I HAVE DONE THAT A LOT TODAY, RIGHT?
[LAUGHTER]
>>SO I WAS TOLD WE WERE GOING TO GIVE YOU
THE CUE WHEN THAT LIGHT STARTS DIMMING AND THAT LIGHT IS NOT DIMMED.
[LAUGHTER]
SO THERE’S STILL SETTING BACK THERE.
I THINK I’M JUST GOING TO CLOSE THERE AND HEAD BACK AND YOU’RE IN FOR A NICE, NICE YOU
CAN THOSE OF YOU WHO WANT TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THERE, PLEASE FEEL TO DO THAT.
ALL RIGHT, I THINK WE ARE READY SO I GOT THE CUE, I DID SEE LIGHTS DIMMING, BUT AGAIN U
PEOPLE KNOW THAT I’M COLOR BLIND SO IF THE LIGHTS ARE COLORED, I DID NOT SEE THEM BUT
I DID SEE SOME CHANGES BACK THERE. SO THERE WE GO.
[APPLAUSE] [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]
OKAY. [LAUGHTER]
>>I WOULD LIKE NOW TO ASK THE STUDENTS, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A RECESSIONAL WITH THE STUDENTS,
SO I WOULD LIKE EVERYONE TO STAY SEATED AND I WOULD LIKE NOW TO STUDENTS TO BEGIN THE
RECESSIONAL AND BEGIN, PLEASE REMAIN IN YOUR SEATS.
WILL YOU PLEASE STAND AND RECESS STUDENTS. [LAUGHTER]
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] �
� � �
>>SO THIS CONCLUDES OUR CEREMONY, WE WILL SEE YOU AT THE RECEPTION.
� � �

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