By April Wilkerson Writer, OU College of Medicine,
With equal parts encouragement, congratulations and humor, the OU College of Medicine Class of 2012 was sent forth to their residency programs with the official title of “Doctor.”
Executive Dean M. Dewayne Andrews, M.D., numerous faculty and administrative members and a Civic Center nearly full of well-wishers feted the 165 graduates on May 26. The traditional hooding ceremony and Oath for the Profession of Medicine was combined with humorous memories and a charge to stay connected as College of Medicine alumni.
Students graduating from the OU College of Medicine
line up for the “hooding” ceremony, a time-honored
tradition for the discipline of medicine.
“You’ve learned the necessity of lifelong learning, the meaning of professionalism and the very special nature of the bond between a patient and a physician,” Andrews said. “The OU College of Medicine is a special place – a place where your lives have been transformed and they have been made richer. In years to come, you’re going to find that the memories you have developed here will always tie you to this institution and to those who have taught you and to those who have nurtured, shared and encouraged your dreams.”
Herman Jones, Ph.D., the associate dean for student affairs and the James H. Little, M.D., Chair in Neurology, was the students’ pick for commencement speaker, and his well-known blend of wit and inspiration didn’t disappoint.
Employing the technique sotto voce (“soft voice”), Jones not-so-subtly pointed out the class clown, the devoted scholars and the compassionate students who rallied around their peers. He also reminded them of the magnitude of what they had achieved as medical students: 29,744 pages of reading in the first two years alone; daily studying of six to eight hours outside a full day in the classroom; and 13,600 diseases and disorders to master, or at least recognize. The weight of their work continued in the third and fourth years with an intense clinical time designed to transform knowledge into wisdom and intellectual interest into compassion.
“You, the Class of 2012, have demonstrated the capacity to learn,” Jones said. “Given the explosion of information in medicine, this will serve you well. As importantly, you’ve demonstrated an ability to support, protect and care.
“Yours will be a career marked by great changes in medicine, judging by the dramatic shifts in the last 50 years,” Jones said. “You will soon have at your disposal more than 6,000 medicines to prescribe, but be aware that in the United States last year, more people died from prescription drugs than illegal drugs. You will have the ability to perform more than 4,000 different procedures and surgeries, but be mindful that for the 30 million of these every year, a significant number of people will have complications and extended hospital stays that provoke readmissions and even death.
“I charge you to become a positive force for your patients and to do everything in your power to labor for the weak and the pitiful as well as for the affluent and the powerful. I urge you to stay humble in your professional lives and to continue to learn from your patients, your faculty and your peers.”