Under clear blue skies, 200 medical and dental school graduates gathered on the HMS Quad on May 29 with faculty, family, and friends to celebrate the closing of one chapter of their careers and the opening of the next.
Addressing the graduates, keynote speaker Vivek Murthy, an HMS instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, founder of Doctors for America, and the nominee for Surgeon General of the United States, spoke of the importance of personal vision and values as the new graduates navigate their careers, their interactions with patients, and their efforts to improve health care.
“Stand up for your values,” said Murthy, “and you can change not only your patients’ lives but also health care in this nation—and the world.”
Defining and holding true to your beliefs is not easy, Murthy cautioned. It requires examining different ideas, resisting the temptation to follow other people’s paths just because they’ve already been paved, and holding firm against hardship and opposition.
Now more than ever, Murthy said, the nation and the world need health care practitioners “who can imagine the world as it should be and who have the courage to step forward with open minds, clear eyes, and full hearts to translate those dreams into reality.”
In doing so, he promised, today’s graduates will inspire others to follow their lead.
Building on the theme of improving the lives of patients, HMS Dean Jeffrey S. Flier assured the graduates that they were well prepared for this responsibility.
“You, as this school’s mission attests,” said Flier, “are now part of a community known for new ideas and new leadership, each in the service of alleviating suffering and disease.”
“This responsibility, this membership in the HMS community, may seem daunting, but it shouldn’t. You have been well trained and mentored for this role. You are prepared and you can always draw support from each other, from this school, and from the generations of proud HMS alumni upon whose sturdy shoulders you stand.
“HMS graduates have a deep tradition of amazing accomplishments. I, and our entire faculty, look forward to being astonished by yours.”
On this Class Day, 164 students received Doctor of Medicine degrees from HMS, including 44 students who also earned master’s or doctoral degrees. In addition, the School awarded Master of Medical Science degrees to 33 students: 12 in the Scholars in Clinical Science program, 9 in the Clinical Investigator Training program, 8 in biomedical informatics, and 4 in the inaugural class of the Global Health Delivery program.
Image: Steve Lipovsky