Harvard Medical School Class Day 2019

CIRCUMSTANCE”] Please be seated. Good afternoon, everyone. On behalf of the
graduating class of 2019, welcome to the
Class Day ceremony for Harvard Medical
School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon, Dean Daley,
Dean Donoff, Dean Hundert, Dean Saldana, Dr.
Karchmer, esteemed invited speaker Dr. Mona
Hanna-Attisha, fellow students, and most importantly, to you,
all of our friends and family who have traveled from far
and wide to help us celebrate this incredibly special day. [APPLAUSE] And thank you, of
course, to those of us who are joining
us via livestream and couldn’t make it today. My name is Jessy Holtzman. And together with
Keenan and Jill, we have the pleasure of serving
as this year’s graduation co-moderators. This afternoon, we celebrate
the accomplishments of 167 graduating medical students,
now that the MBA students have been kind enough to join us. [LAUGHTER] And 34 graduating
dental students. [APPLAUSE] We take this day to
thank our classmates for teaching us their passion
and their perseverance, their resilience
and their resolve, their curiosity and
their compassion, and most importantly, never
forgetting their humility and their good humor. Welcome and good afternoon. My name is Jillian Muhlbauer. And it is a privilege
to represent the Harvard School of Dental
Medicine class of 2019 today. [APPLAUSE] 20 years ago, I
went to the dentist with a mouthful of
cavities and left with the dream of becoming
a pediatric dentist along with some new tooth
jewelry and a teacher for life in Dr. [INAUDIBLE]. Yes, she made me cavity
free, but her inspiration for my future career
was more memorable. And her presence here today
is a testament to meaningful mentorship. We live in a world
where litigation tries to influence decision
making and insurance reimbursement demands
efficient patient encounters. Despite these pressures,
may we continue to practice with
the same qualities we admire in our mentors,
honesty, patience, and empathy. The qualities we want to define
our careers, the qualities that will indeed inspire the future
generation of health care providers. To our parents and families,
who instilled in us values of respect and resilience,
to our friends who forgave each missed birthday
with an invitation to the next, to our patients who
became our teachers, especially the ones who sat
in our chair for four hours and came back for a
second visit, [LAUGHTER] on behalf of the class of
2019, I offer our gratitude. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon. My name is Meenan Ke– I mean, uh, Keenan Mahan. My patients call
me Doogie Howser. And it is a pleasure to serve as
one of the co-moderators today. Our little group of
three co-moderators came up with a list of
roughly 1,000 people to celebrate and thank
for the immense support that we received over the past
20 or more years of school. But then I was reminded
that not everybody would enjoy hearing me read
names for 20 minutes, especially after I was more
than 20 minutes late myself. To make things a little simpler,
if you have even the tiniest feeling that your name
is on our list, it is. We wouldn’t be here
without the love and support from all
of those around us. You’ve made a tough
journey easier and kept us going even
on our hardest days. The other list we
managed to put together featured some pretty
interesting statistics. I regret to inform you that
only 47% of today’s graduates were able to complete medical
school in the recommended four years. [LAUGHTER] The other roughly half
of us, myself included, took a few detours. We performed research. We worked on global
health projects and earned additional
degrees, from MPPs, to MPHs, to MBAs, and 17 PhDs. We have an incredibly
accomplished group of medical and dental
graduates to celebrate today. As we celebrate, I
think back to Match Day and anticipate that today may
unleash some powerful emotions that perhaps we
weren’t expecting. Just ask my mom. She has the video
of Chris Callahan and me crying tears
of relief and joy as we opened our letters. I look forward to celebrating
our amazing accomplishments today, hearing from
our incredible speakers and watching nearly
200 of us walk across this stage as doctors. And this time I came prepared
for a few more happy tears. I would now like to welcome
Dr. Karchmer to the podium to welcome this new generation
of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of
Dental Medicine alumni. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. It’s a pleasure and
an honor to be here. I’ve been moved
up in the program. So I’m less concerned
about your bladders than I have been in
past commencements, having this advanced
position in the program. First, let me
congratulate all of you students, graduates, and
families on a job well done. It is really tremendous
to see this group. And I look forward to watching
each of you cross the stage. I want to welcome you to
the Alumni Association. By the end of the afternoon,
you will officially be members. We stand ready to do
several things, hopefully, that will be of benefit to you. One is to help you maintain
your connections to one another. A second is to help you maintain
your connections to the school. And the third is
really to facilitate HMS and the School
of Dental Medicine being part of your continuing
education as you go forward. You’ve all been
teachers of one another. But you, as you move from
student to physician, alumnus, you become a different
sort of teacher. You’re going to be a
teacher of your patients, a teacher of your
colleagues, and a teacher of future medical students. And I thought it would
be fitting to pass on one word of advice, which I
hadn’t realized it until I was looking at the email,
echoes a sentiment that Dean Daley has
been commenting on. But these are some comments
from Dan Federman, whose picture hangs in the TMEC atrium
and was a revered teacher over many generations here. Dan advised three things
as you teach and mentor. One was to think out loud. A second was to keep it simple. And a third, and perhaps
the most important, was never miss a
chance to be kind. And I think those are
good words of advice. So again, I will step aside,
congratulate you again, wish you well on your journey. May you continue
to be successful. We look forward to
your contributions, both to the school,
the Alumni Association, and to medicine and
dentistry in general. Good luck. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Dr. Karchmer. It is with great honor that
I introduce the Harvard School of Dental Medicine class
of 2019 speaker, Tom Ferlito. [APPLAUSE] Tom was born and raised in
North Andover, Massachusetts and attended Bowdoin
College, where he graduated with a degree in biochemistry. At HSDM, Tom is known for his
extensive sports knowledge, carefree attitude,
and uncanny ability to make a joke on my behalf. [LAUGHTER] While at HSDM, Tom has
developed his interest in dental innovation
and currently has a patent pending for
an appliance that influences the oral microbiome. Tom will continue his
training next year at HSDM with a residency
in orthodontics. His remarks are titled,
“What Happened Here.” Please join me in welcoming
my classmate and friend, Tom Ferlito. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Jill. And thank you to my
wonderful class for giving me this opportunity today. I was two years old when I was
diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And I was 12 years old when I
received my first insulin pump. Being about 100 pounds,
the adult needle Dr. G told me to inject in
my abdomen every three days looked far too big to me. I soon learned to hate it. Most of the injections hurt. But I feared that one
day I would really choose the wrong spot to place it. I was 13 years old when I did. Lying on the bathroom floor
with the needle stuck, collapsed in pain as my birthday
party carried on downstairs, I bit my fingers so I wouldn’t
yell as I ripped it out. The worst part wasn’t the pain. It was having to stand
up and inject it again. I remember composing
myself afterwards and apologizing to my friends
for keeping them waiting. I remember how my hands
would shake every three days thereafter. But I also remember Dr. G at
my next appointment glancing at a printout of my A1C before
slamming his fist on his desk. Mr. Thomas, he yelled,
what happened here? And I remember I didn’t
answer, because I didn’t want to play his game. He had, in fact, told me once
that the smart ones always have an excuse. –say? A smart one could go to
Harvard and roast you at their graduation speech. [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] My mom’s cringing over there. Don’t worry, I won’t
actually roast him today. [LAUGHTER] Regardless of his opinion,
this speech is not about spite. It’s not about revenge. It’s not about self-pity. This speech is about the
nurse practitioner who cared enough to switch me to
other, more suitable needles I hadn’t even known existed. It’s about our families
and the principles they instilled in us. And it’s about our
mentors who showed us by example how to apply those
qualities to health care. It’s about the question my story
raises of what kind of doctors we want to be. And it’s about the answer
we consistently gave over the past four years and
the ways we chose to care. For us, caring started early on. We came into health care
because we wanted to help, and we quickly realized
an important nuance, the difference between
caring for patients and caring about them. It happened when Marissa allowed
her patient without a cell phone to make calls on hers
during their appointments, when Sarah Katzin kindly
informed her patient that what he was drinking out of was
not the water fountain, but actually the
emergency eyewash station. [LAUGHTER] It happened when we educated
instead of admonished, when we did not shy away from
medicine apart from the mouth. And it happened because we
saw each of our patients not as a single variable,
not the number of cavities they had, an A1C reading on a
printout, a weight on a scale, but rather as what they are,
something unquantifiable that should never be confined
to a single term. But we also soon realized that
caring about people is tough. It’s tiring. And so to continue
to do so, we need to be able to care
about ourselves. It’s what kept us grounded,
lent us perspective, and gave us things to talk about with
faculty at daily afternoon tea. During our time here,
we should be proud that we never lost ourselves. We’re artists, musicians,
food critics, athletes. Hui even ran a boxing club. We were said to be more
attractive than the med students. [LAUGHTER] We are mothers and fathers of
both children and dogs, dogs named Guinness, Buster,
Simba, Loki, Joey, and for some reason, Duck. [LAUGHTER] I apologize to the cat people. Lena has like 12 cats. So I couldn’t mention them here. [LAUGHTER] Hsu is still surfing. Sicong is still dancing. Jill somehow still
likes the New York Jets. [LAUGHTER] And Babeck without question
still likes his abs. [LAUGHTER] And like our view
of our own patients, we never saw ourselves
exclusively as doctor, but rather as what we are,
something unquantifiable, something beyond health care. And paradoxically, we’re far
better health care providers because of it. But we also realized
that to best care about ourselves
and our patients, we need to be able to care
about our profession too. We did this through research,
volunteering, activism. We cared about numbers
and demographics. Sometimes the numbers even
scared us, like our debt. But sometimes they
didn’t at all. Just ask the 50% of
future oral surgeons from our class who
are female entering a profession that is 93% male. [APPLAUSE] We cared about those when we
saw the system leave behind, and we disagreed on
how best to help them. In doing so, we also learned
that care about these issues, we need to be able to talk,
that the echoing of ideas is dangerous, and that the
creative solutions derived from the debate are, dare
I say, among the essentials of our profession. [LAUGHTER] And as our list of
responsibilities grew ever longer, we arguably
learned the most important lesson, to care
about each other. We learned this through
the good times and the bad, like when I dropped
the denture I’ve been working on for months,
tried to catch it, and missed. It was actually fine
until I stepped on it. [LAUGHTER] We relied on each other
in chaotic moments like that when
attending dental school felt more like attending
the Fyre Festival. [LAUGHTER] We helped each other every day
by sacrificing our own time to assist or clean up
for someone running late. In doing so, we didn’t just
make it through dental school. We made dental school
special together. And through all of this,
we learned the importance of having support
from people we love, from those who understand
the challenges we face as health care providers. Personally, I may
have lost a few hairs, but made far more friends. And I really can’t imagine
reaching this point without any of you guys. So far this speech has been in
the past tense, things we did, ways we cared,
obstacles we overcame. But I hope you will see
that this speech was never about the past. It was about the future. It was about people
today and tomorrow who can’t afford to smile, but
do not trust anyone to care. It was about a
13-year-old kid out there somewhere now who needs help. And it was about
us and what we will do for them and for
our professions. We started four years
ago as smart ones, and we became even
smarter ones yet, smarter ones who,
all the while, cared about our patients, no excuses. But unfortunately,
the world has shown us that being smart and caring
is not always enough. And so as each of our
names is called today, we need to decide to
be something more. We need to join the
ranks of our mentors and decide as they
did to care even when money, power, and pride
threatened to get in the way. And to do that,
like them, we need to be brave ones
too, brave ones who turn our ideas into action, who
speak our visions into truth. Brave ones who care with
a backbone, who stand up for those who can’t
stand up for themselves. Brave ones who seek
out the darkest corners of our world, our
profession, who stare down those who thrive there, those
who hear us coming even now, and who ask them, in
an unwavering voice, what happened here? [APPLAUSE] It is a privilege to introduce
our first Harvard Medical School Class of 2019
speaker, Robert Weatherford. Rob was raised in Wyoming and
attended both Brigham Young University and the
University of Wyoming, where he received a degree
in English and Spanish. A few years after
graduating, he found a job at a primary care
clinic and decided medicine was the path for him. After completing his premedical
classes in a post baccalaureate program at Johns
Hopkins University, he came to Harvard
Medical School, where he’s mostly known for
his bad puns and his interest in women’s health. He will begin his
residency in obstetrics and gynecology back at
Johns Hopkins next month. His remarks are titled,
“The Debts We Owe.” Please join me in
welcoming Rob Weatherford. [APPLAUSE] Familia et amici. Just kidding. This address is in English. [LAUGHTER] Friends and family,
thank you for being here to celebrate with us
on this special day. It is an honor to address both
those people whose goodness has sustained me over
the past four years as well as those who
have sustained them. Today marks a
momentous occasion, both for the newly minted
doctors, as well as society at large. For as of today, we’re legally
required to identify ourselves as doctors on airplanes
when an emergency arises, which is why I recommend that
all of our farther flung guests immediately take
out your smartphones and cancel your flights home
while you can still recover travel points with your airline,
and get a rental car instead. [LAUGHTER] Today, a swarm of enthusiastic,
half-baked competence is unleashed upon the world. [LAUGHTER] Thank goodness for mandatory
residency training. When I realized this morning
that my speech was running contemporaneously with Angela
Merkel’s, my first thought was to doubt the judgment of
you all, my beloved audience, for choosing to hear
me over the most powerful woman in the world. So I promised to make your
attendance here today worth it by announcing in this
speech my candidacy for the Democratic
2020 presidential race. [APPLAUSE] Given the absolute paucity
of qualified candidates this close to the elections. [LAUGHTER] The debt we graduate with
today is at least two part, three if you include the
unfathomable sum of money here owed to Uncle Sam that might
better have been spent, I don’t know, purchasing
a small country, or perhaps investing in Twitter,
the unexpected new platform for declaring domestic
and international policy. [LAUGHTER] Our first debt we owe
to our patients, who have earned their homophobic
name through the patience that they have
showed us as they’ve taught us medicine through
their lives and conditions. We obediently
inquired of them all, even those simply complaining
of a headache or a broken bone, whether they had sex
with men, women, or both, and sometimes subjected them
to multiple prostate exams because we just
weren’t quite sure what we were feeling up there. [LAUGHTER] I will never forget two patients
who I want to mention today. The first is a
proud Venezuelan man who fell ill with
pneumonia while visiting his recently immigrated
family in the United States. His symptoms were
manifestations of an as of yet undiagnosed metastatic cancer
that left him so debilitated, he couldn’t return
to Venezuela to spend his final days on the beaches
there, his dying wish. We instead arranged for hospice
for him at a house on Cape Cod. And he passed away with
his family, not at home, but nevertheless hearing the
waves of the same Atlantic Ocean he loved. I wept for him and his family
at his memorial service on the Cape. Another patient who
stays in my mind is a woman who, after adopting
five children with her husband due to their infertility,
surprised herself and her husband by becoming
spontaneously pregnant years into their marriage. I grew close to
her and her husband through her lengthy labor
and got to be the insecure, but thrilled person to
deliver that gift of a child into the world. Whether witnessing our patients
deaths or their births, we students have all
cried for and silently celebrated with our
patients more than we ever allowed ourselves to show. To our patients, on this
day we are humbly grateful. Our second debt is to our
loved ones, parents, siblings, spouses and partners, friends of
all stripes, who have buoyed us up over our entire
lifetimes and especially during these sometimes turbulent
waters of medical school. Among just my friends, we
have in our audience today a father who raised his
two sons, both of whom are doctors as of
today, after losing his wife to complications
of a longstanding illness. We are privileged also to have
in attendance a single mother who worked as a cashier in
Ohio to support her son who, as of today, proudly has become
a Harvard educated physician. The sacrifices represented
under this tent today are countless and untold. My gratitude extends
deepest to my own parents. Just two weeks ago, my mother
earned her PhD at age 58, a feat she undertook after
raising us seven children. [APPLAUSE] My mother is the reason I know
that the future is female. And she was the original
impetus for why I proudly chose obstetrics and
gynecology as my medical field, so that I may do my part
to be two of the hands that help to usher that future in. My father, the most intentional
and values driven man I know, is also the man whose
unending faith in and love for me is a
testament to the fact that love is the
strongest force on earth. Both of my parents
have always chosen to love the son they
were sent, even when he differed from the
son they expected. Mom and dad, I love you both
beyond my ability to say. [APPLAUSE] Isaac Newton wrote in 1675 that,
quote, “If I have seen further, it is because I’ve stood on
the shoulders of giants,” close quote. Though he was alluding to his
scientific accomplishments, his metaphor
applies to us today. And our parents and
guardians are those giants. We were cradled at your bosom. We learned to walk in the
guiding clasp of your hands. And we were succored
during our hardship in the arms of your embrace. Thus, I would like to offer an
amendation to Newton’s words today. We are not simply standing
on your shoulders. You are holding us there. Classmates, among the many
things that today represents, one of them is certainly
the expiry date on any of our excuses for
accepting the world’s ills as they are. Having been granted our
wish upon a star when we were admitted to
Harvard, the world has bestowed on us one
of its highest privileges in the form of the
education we received here and the degree
conferred on this day. The world’s many
problems cry out for solutions, and
who better than us to use the gift of this
education to help solve them. My own field of obstetrics and
gynecology is rife with them. The advancements of
modern obstetrics have plummeted the
maternal mortality rate wherever these
advancements have reached. Yet, black women in
the United States die during or around
the time of childbirth at three times the rate
of their otherwise matched white counterparts, a modern
day disgrace in our field. The oral contraceptive
pill gave women unprecedented control
over their bodies and the creation
of their families. Yet, too many women today
worry about declining fertility in their 20s and 30s as they
work to build the careers and find the partners
that equality is finally permitting them. If it is not the people
under this tent who are called to help solve
these problems, then who? It is our sacred responsibility
to uproot systemic racism from medicine and other
American institutions. It is our holy task– [APPLAUSE] It is our holy task to develop
medical advancements that let women and men start families
exactly when they’re ready and not a day sooner. The list of unsolved problems
in the world is daunting. Yet, I wake up each morning
with a kernel of hope, because I know the list
of resources and selfless, diligent people we can marshal
to solve them is greater. It is our vocation
now to be healers of both the patients in
front of us in our exam rooms and also the larger
society that has given us the gift of this degree,
and with it, this calling. If I’ve learned anything
through my friendships with the remarkable people in
this class over the past four years, it is that we are capable
of rising to these challenges. Thank you to all of you for four
of the most Incredible years of my life, class of 2019. Now, let’s go forth
and be the change we want to see in the world
with a flame of gratitude ever ablaze in our hearts for
those to whom we owe our debts. [APPLAUSE] Thank you so much, Rob. It is now my great honor to
introduce our second Harvard Medical School Class of
2019 speaker, Mubeen Shakir. [CHEERING] Born and raised
in Oklahoma City, Mubeen attended the
University of Oklahoma, where he majored
in biochemistry. Prior to HMS, he studied
anthropology and Public Policy at the University of
Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. At HMS, he has
largely been known to be interested in free food
and making terrible jokes, [LAUGHTER] but he is also
known to be a strong advocate for marginalized communities
with an interest in using the bridge between medicine and
policy to help the underserved. He will continue his
training this summer in internal medicine at
Massachusetts General Hospital. His remarks are entitled,
“Compassion As Justice.” Please join me in
welcoming my first year tablemate and my good
friend, Mubeen Shakir. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Jessy, for that
very kind introduction. Good afternoon, everyone, and
especially to my classmates the graduating class of 2019. We did it. [APPLAUSE] I’m honored to be with
you today and proud to say that after years
and years of work, hundreds of feedback
surveys that we never did– sorry, Dean Hundert– [LAUGHTER] and
countless moments where we waited to ask that sacred
question to our resident, can we go home now? We are finally
going to be doctors. Today, we are
celebrating and grateful for you, our families,
friends, teachers, and mentors. We would not be here without
you, your tireless support, and your countless
sacrifices for us. We are also grateful for the
support staff, custodians, security guards, cafeteria
workers here at HMS. [APPLAUSE] Thank you for letting
us learn and work in a clean and safe
place every day. I also want to shout out the
real MVP of Harvard Medical School, a pass fail curriculum. [LAUGHTER] I would definitely not
be up here without it. Finally, I have to thank my
own family, my three older brothers and especially my
mother, who is here today, and my dad who he lost to
leukemia eight years ago. They flew across oceans
over four decades ago to build a better
life, gave everything to my three brothers and me. And they are the
reason I’m here today. [APPLAUSE] When I was visiting my family in
Oklahoma City a few weeks ago, I proudly told my
six-year-old niece that I was graduating
from Harvard. And she replied, where are
the rest of my gummy bears? [LAUGHTER] Did you eat them again? As I finished the last of
her gummy bears, [LAUGHTER] her astute question reminded
me that today is not about this esteemed school,
but rather who we are and what brought us here. What brought us here
is our compassion. We have chosen a job where every
day the person in front of us matters, and their
suffering matters. We should be proud, because
this is not an easy job. Even our moments of ignorance
of the last four or five years, or for some of you
MD PhDs, 27 years, [LAUGHTER] we have learned how
important this compassion is. Patients remembered us
because we sat with them, because we spent an extra
minute at the foot of the bed to learn from them. No matter the
circumstances, we can always return to this, to be kind
and care for those around us unrelentingly. In thinking about
who we are, I am also grateful for all of
you, my classmates. We have learned around truly
exceptional people here, both in who you are
and what you’ve done. We have published
seminal research, built technology
and new companies, shaped policy and led protests. One of us is a professional
Spartan athlete. [CHEERING] And one of us
once ate two Domino’s pizzas by themselves in one sitting. [LAUGHTER] That was me last night. [LAUGHTER] But it’s Ramadan. I’ve been fasting since 3:00 AM. So no judgment, OK? [LAUGHTER] I am especially grateful
for the activism of this class and our efforts
to repay our privileges. So many of you have worked
to open doors for others as they were open
for us, recruiting women and people of
color into your fields and into this school, where
there are not nearly enough in positions of leadership. You have left this marble quad
to give your time in service to others, from caring
for people in jails, to mentoring young people in
the communities around us. Yet, the demands of
our coming training may cause us to
forget these larger obligations of our privilege. Amidst the long
hours, we will face the suffering of our patients. And they will suffer despite our
greatest efforts and medicine’s greatest innovations. Our patients will suffer until
society can care for our poor as much as the rich, until
we no longer discharge our patients who are
experiencing homelessness back to the streets. They will suffer until we
eradicate systems of racism and truly affirm that
Black Lives Matter. [APPLAUSE] They will suffer
until we stop policies that criminalize women’s
choices about their health and their bodies. [APPLAUSE] And our society will
suffer as mass shootings in schools and houses
of worship continue without political
change from our leaders. [APPLAUSE] And our treatment of
immigrants and refugees, be they from south of the
border, Syria, Palestine, or Myanmar, will
question our commitment to caring for our neighbors
with the dignity they deserve. [APPLAUSE] In these next few years,
our time and energy will be lacking when it comes to
facing the many challenges that affect us and our patients. We have a duty to meet
them, to speak out and act. And I know we can and
will, as so many of you have done so already. But I believe the most important
choice we have in these coming years, amongst the
many we’ll face, is to return to what brought
us here, to care and to be kind to those around us,
not only with our patients, but with our friends,
our colleagues, and to those around
us who are suffering. We have the choice to
not judge our patients for what brings them
to us, to hold off on our criticism
of our colleagues, because we don’t know what
they’re going through. To spend the extra minute
at the foot of the bed before checking the
boxes on rounds, and to reach out to a
friend who seems down. We always have this choice. I’m reminded of a
gynecologist fellow who at 4:00 in the
morning told us that we needed to be efficient. Not a moment later,
she was sitting with a patient for 15 minutes,
a young woman who had recently had surgery for ovarian cancer. As she walked out of the
room, she looked at the team and said, we’ll be late. But it’s the worst
week of her life. So let’s remember that. I’m reminded of all of
you, my classmates, who stayed late to connect a
patient with care, who checked on a patient over a weekend
when you weren’t even working, and who reached out
to support friends in the midst of
hardship and loss. Our profession is rooted
in this compassion. And our collective compassion,
be it at the bedside, in the OR, in the lab,
or in our advocacy– our collective
compassion is truly a form of justice for
a suffering world. Our speaker today, Dr.
Mona Hanna-Attisha, exemplifies this justice,
how caring fiercely for our patients can truly
save the lives of thousands. But despite the uncertainties
and the challenges we will face,
today I am hopeful. I’m hopeful because
I know all of you. I’m hopeful because
on our diverse paths, if we continue
striving for compassion and striving for kindness
in our work, for the people we know and those we
don’t, together, we can make this world a better
place for those around us. Class of 2019, it has
been an honor to know you and a privilege to
learn alongside you. Let us open the next
chapter of our lives in remembrance of all things
compassionate and all things merciful. God bless you all. Good luck. And thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Mubeen. I would now like to recognize
the award recipients from the Harvard School
of Dental Medicine. If I could have the
recipients please now make your way to the
side of the stage and come up to receive your
award as your name is called. We ask the audience to hold
all applause to the end. Recipients of these awards were
chosen by the DMD Class of 2019 to honor individuals who
had a significant impact on the class. I am pleased to present the
award for outstanding faculty to Dr. Peter Grieco, the
pre-doctoral prosthodontics director. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] The second outstanding
faculty award is awarded to Dr. Tien Jiang,
instructor in oral health policy and epidemiology. [APPLAUSE] The class of 2019 has chosen to
give the outstanding resident award to Dr. Kevin Lin,
resident in periodontology. [APPLAUSE] Our first outstanding
staff award goes to Charles Mwele, our
certified dental technician. [APPLAUSE] The second outstanding
staff award is awarded to Eduardo
Gonzalez-Escobar of the custodial staff,
who unfortunately could not be present today. [APPLAUSE] Please join me in congratulating
all of our award winners. [APPLAUSE] Congratulations to all of
the HSDM award winners. Now we will present the awards
for Harvard Medical School. HMS award recipients,
please now make your way to the side of the
stage and come up to receive your award
as your name is called. We again ask that the
audience hold your applause until the end. [LAUGHTER] It’s worth a try. [LAUGHTER] I am thrilled to present the
faculty award for excellence in clinical instruction
to Dr. Yamani Saravanan. [APPLAUSE] I’m happy to present the
resident award for excellence in clinical instruction
to Dr. Joshua Jolissant. [APPLAUSE] I am pleased to present
the award for excellence in preclinical instruction
to Dr. Anand Vaidya. [APPLAUSE] The class of 2019 is
very proud to celebrate the five recipients of this
year’s outstanding faculty mentor award. Dr. Jennifer Potter. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Daniel Kamin. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Bernard Chang. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sara Selig. [APPLAUSE] And Dr. Daniel Ricotta. [APPLAUSE] We are pleased to present
this year’s Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine
award to Dr. Brent Shoji. [APPLAUSE] And it is with great enthusiasm
that we honor the staff student life award to none other
than Franceny Johnson. [APPLAUSE] I’m going to get out of
the way for the photo. [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] Congratulations to all of our
Harvard Medical School award winners. [APPLAUSE] Congratulations again to
all of our award recipients. It is now my honor and privilege
to introduce the Class Day speaker of 2019. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
is an associate professor of Pediatrics and Human
Development at Michigan State University, as well as
the founder and director of the Hurley Children’s
Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative,
a program aimed at mitigating the long term
consequences of the Flint water crisis. Dr. Hanna-Attisha is best known
for her groundbreaking work in collaboration with
epidemiologists, community members, and
government officials to reveal that the
children of Flint, Michigan were being exposed to life
threatening levels of lead in their tap water. She has been a tireless
advocate for her patients with her work serving
as a powerful testament to the paramount importance
of persistence and teamwork, all while balancing
the responsibilities as a physician, a
citizen, and a mother. For her role in bringing the
Flint water crisis to light, Dr. Hanna-Attisha was
named by Time Magazine one of the most
influential people of 2016. Please join me in giving
an extremely warm welcome to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Thank you. I haven’t even started talking. Thank you. Thank you. Hello and congratulations. And congratulations to
family, friends, and faculty, all of you who are
here today sharing in this amazing,
amazing accomplishment. So let’s get started. We have about 15 minutes. And I’m glad you’re
already all in gowns. Nobody got it. Like a doctor’s
visit, 15 minutes. OK. [LAUGHTER] Bam. Anyways, it wouldn’t
work out, because I don’t have enough lollipops and
stickers for all of you anyway. So just kidding, dentists. We don’t give out
lollipops anymore. Sorry. In all seriousness,
congratulations. I have been where you are right
now, excited, anxious, nervous, and unbelievably happy. I sat and listened to
my commencement speakers as you listened to me. And I felt the pride
that comes with being part of something so great. And a lot of you are
thinking how amazing it is to be graduating from– hold on, let me check my notes. Oh my god, Harvard! That’s amazing. Totally impressive. Wow. OK, wow. The name alone will open doors. But I will tell you something. It is Harvard that
is proud of you and proud of what you will do. And as much– absolutely. [APPLAUSE] And as much as you are wrapped
in the history, and traditions, and the legends of
this place, this place is only as great as you are
and as great as you will be. And as this university
rises, always on the shoulders
of its graduates, this world and our world
depends on the amazing work that you will all do. But first, I want to start
with a question for you all. And try to think of the
answer in your head. Why did you choose this
most noble profession? Why did you go to
school for what seems like forever, which–
and for many of you, the MD PhD sounds like
it is absolutely forever. And I hope the answer
in every single head under those mortarboards is our
patients, patients that we are absolutely privileged to serve. And for me as a pediatrician,
it is our children. And I want to tell you– shout
out to the pediatricians. Yeah, pediatricians. [APPLAUSE] This guy’s got a
Teddy bear, yeah. [APPLAUSE] Awesome. And I want to tell you
about one of my Flint kids. And her name is Nakala. And in the summer
of 2015, she came to clinic for her
four month checkup with her older sister, Riva. And Nakala’s mom wanted
to stop breastfeeding. And I urged her, like every
good pediatrician would, to continue. But she said she had
to go back to work. She was a waitress,
and there was no place to pump except the restroom
that all the customers used. She couldn’t do anything. She couldn’t afford
to do anything that would jeopardize her job. As it was, she was having
trouble making ends meet. So she planned to switch to
formula mixed with bottled– mixed with tap water,
mixed with our tap water. And she had some concerns. And she asked me at
that doctor’s visit, is the water all right? Looking skeptical. I heard things. And then Riva, the
two-year-old sister, came up to me with
her hand open. Kids love to distract
a doctor who’s giving total attention
to a younger sibling. And I turned my full
attention to Riva. And she gave me a
torn scrap of paper with masterful crayon scribbles. And she put it in my open hand. And I said to Riva, thank you. I’m going to put this right
here in my white coat pocket. And soon you will find that
the purpose of your white coats is the pockets. Where else would we put our
phones, chapstick, code cards, pen lights, breakfast,
lunch, dinner. Everything goes in our
white coat pockets. But it’s also the
place to store artwork by kids, if you’re lucky. It’s a place to hold the
things that touch you, and teach you, and
show you the way. So I sat Riva down on my lap. And I thought about the water. I’d been asked about it before. And I said to Nakala’s
mom, don’t waste your money on bottled water, nodding
with calm reassurance, the way doctors are taught. Lots of confidence. They say it is fine to drink. And inches away, Riva who was on
my lap was watching me closely. I smiled at her again. I gave her an extra squeeze. And then I sat her down. And then I gave her mom
another reassuring nod. The tap water is just fine. And it’s hard for me to
stand here and accept that I said that. Because everyone here knows
now that the tap water in Flint was not just fine. My story, the Flint,
Michigan story, is about the unthinkable
tragedy of people and children being poisoned by the most
basic and necessary thing. It is a story of
what happens when the very people responsible
for keeping us safe and healthy care more about money
and power than they do about the people they
are charged to protect. But in the summer of 2015,
I was a busy pediatrician, a residency director,
a wife, a mom, juggling so many balls in
the air like many of you will trying to find balance. I was seeing
patients like Nakala who would ask about bathing, and
drinking, and mixing formula. And I was telling
them all, of course. Of course, the water is safe. I mean, how could our
water not be safe? This is America,
the richest country in the history of the world. It is the 21st century. There’s rules and regulations. And you know, those anonymous
people in lab coats and test tubes who wake up
every day to make sure that when I turn
on the tap, and you turn on the tap,
wherever we are, the water is safe to drink. And it’s also Michigan. Any Michiganders out there? [CHEERING] There’s a few. So show me your hand, guys. So we are the
Mitten State, right. So the state actually
looks like a mitten. And why are we the Mitten State? What are we surrounded by? Water. Water. The Great Lakes. We are literally surrounded
by the largest source of freshwater in the world. So how could our
water not be safe? But I was wrong. I learned I was so wrong. I had been blinded. My eyes couldn’t see
what my mind didn’t know. Doctors and dentists, each
and every single one of you are blessed with a
gift, a gift that is fleeting and something
you must pay attention to in the moment. Because it is only given once. Fresh eyes. Fresh eyes. You only get to see it
for the first time once. Don’t miss it. Don’t waste it. In those first moments,
you will notice things that will vanish
the more times you see it. The shocking turns
into the usual. The magical withers
into the mundane, the known, the accepted. Like the first time you
do chest compressions on a child in the ED coding
from a gunshot injury. The first time you order
fluids for a diabetic in DKA because she could no
longer afford her insulin. The first time you perform
a full mouth extraction due to severe chronic
periodontitis. I’m learning these
words for you guys. [LAUGHTER] And gross dental caries,
because the patient never, ever had dental coverage. The first time you add
measles to your differential for the kid with a
fever and a rash. The first time you cradle an
opioid addicted baby to sleep. But in those first
clean, clear moments, you get to see things
through only your eyes, before the unthinkable has
not only become the thinkable, but it’s become the expected. It’s become the norm. Your clarity of vision
shows you the world how it should be, not the
imperfect place that it is. As you spend your upcoming years
on the frontlines of health, hold on to those fresh eyes. Combine them with the tools
and technology of medicine to make lives better. Focus them on the
people in front of you. And don’t forget to take a step
back and look at the bigger picture. Because when I finally
took a step back, it was all around me. The signs were all around me,
and I could not and did not see it until I studied
it, until I knew it, until I knew it so well
that I could not eat and I could not sleep. Because by then, I saw
badness everywhere. Making others see it
was a whole other thing. I ran up against
systems built not to see, even when they knew. It was an indifference,
a willful ignorance to certain people,
places, and problems. In Flint, they told a
population of predominantly poor and minority people to relax,
that everything was OK. For a year and a half while
corrosive water leaching lead flowed through our pipes and
into the homes and bodies of our families and
children, it was preventable, but nobody stopped it. It was avoidable,
but it happened. And no matter how hard
and how scary it seemed, I couldn’t close
my eyes anymore. I could only go forward,
because no one else was coming. My doctor role quickly shifted
from clinician-educator, to detective-scientist,
to patient-advocate. And I knew that if I was
going to make a difference, I would have to prove that our
children were in harm’s way. And you all know that this
is absolutely backwards. My research never should
have been necessary. It never should have
gotten to the point where the blood of our children
had to be used as detectors of environmental contamination. Of course, our crisis
never should have started, but it should have ended
when that first mom raised a jug of brown water. And it definitely
should have ended when we knew that there
was lead in our water. And that is because lead is
probably the oldest and most well-studied neurotoxins. And I would be remiss while
here on the banks of the Charles River if I did not reflect
on a giant, a giant who walked where you walk,
who helped bring so much of this knowledge to light. A century ago, the nation’s lead
expert and really the mother of the field of
occupational medicine was physician and social
justice pioneer Alice Hamilton. Not Alexander Hamilton. No, Alice, Alice Hamilton. Nobody here– but you know what? They did have
something in common. They did not throw
away their shot. We’ll get to that. [LAUGHTER] So after graduating
from the University of Michigan’s medical
school in 1893, Alice found herself in
Chicago at the Hull House with John Adams. No, no, no. Jane Addams. Jane Addams. Alexander Hamilton– mix up. Where– this is about women, OK. So where she found herself
providing well child care and wrap around
services to the poor and to recent immigrants. And it was there
with her fresh eyes that she saw that many of
the ailments presenting to her clinic were related to
terrible working conditions and terrible exposures. For example, hatters
that were coming in who’d gone mad because of
mercury poisoning. And then, exactly a
century ago, in 1919, she came here to Harvard. And she was your very
first female professor of the entire University. Awesome. [APPLAUSE] But that appointment came with
several sexist stipulations. There was no admission
to football games, no admission to
the faculty club, and no admission
to commencement. So it is so nice to see so
many women faculty here. Let’s have them stand and
give them a round of applause. Where are the women faculty? [APPLAUSE] There’s more. None of you would be
at your commencement without these guys– girls. [LAUGHTER] Nevertheless, Alice persisted. And what I admire
the most about her was her fierce advocacy
for her patients here when she was at Harvard. Because during her
time, General Motors was trying to convince our
nation that lead in gasoline was a good thing,
literally a gift from God. And Alice fought them
with all her might, insisting that the introduction
of lead in gasoline on a widespread basis would
have a catastrophic impact on public health. And she was right. And at one time it’s
reported that she confronted General Motors head engineer
Charles Kettering in a hallway. And she said to him, you’re
nothing but a murderer. This is cool, right? Medical history is really cool. This is like a drama. So from Alice, I learned
about lead’s toxicity. We all did. But more than that, I learned
to use science and data to speak truth to power. Alice Hamilton took risks
and bucked the status quo, as she passionately and humbly
fought for the most vulnerable among us. Her work was not about abstract
scientific discovery alone. It wasn’t just an academic
exercise for the ivory tower to rack up publications, and
grants, and offers of tenure. It was about people. Let her Harvard legacy serve
as another reminder of what our work should be about. And for me and Flint, the
work in front of me was clear. I had to work fast,
around the clock, to see, to truly see, what
was happening to my patients. And it took a combination of
curiosity and clinical data pulled from our EMR
to find the truth. And the truth was horrific. Yes, lead was increasingly in
the bodies of our children, a potent, irreversible
neurotoxin that we now know through
incredible science has no safe level. And there wasn’t
a moment to spare. There wasn’t time to
ask for permission. This was an emergency
for my kids. And I needed to react like a
first responder on the scene. I needed to call a code. And I literally walked out of
my clinic with my white coat on. And I stood up at
a press conference behind a podium like this,
but there’s a stool here. So I was really short. And I shared the
science, the evidence, that our children
were in harm’s way. And I demanded action. And even as I
offered up my facts, my research was met with
denials and attacks. The state said I was
wrong, unfortunate, and even hysterical. And for a quick minute, I
regretted using my voice. I started to doubt myself. I was scared. There was a knot in my
stomach that wouldn’t go away. My heart rate was close to 200. Just like many have
done, I started to diagnose myself
with all kinds of different ailments, mainly
endocrine and psychiatric. [LAUGHTER] And I thought, maybe I
should have just minded my own business. I had an overwhelming
sense of imposter syndrome, that I wasn’t good enough. I felt small, smaller
than my usual 5 feet. After all, I was
just one pediatrician going against the most
powerful forces in the state. But those thoughts were quickly
replaced with the realization that this had nothing
to do with me. Every single number
in my research was a child, a kid, and
children that as a physician I have literally taken
an oath to protect. It was about Billy, who came to
clinic with a sprained ankle, and Sasha, who always
asks to use my stethoscope to listen to her heart. And it was about Jasmine who,
at her five year checkup, when I asked her, what do you
want to be when you grow up, she said, I want to be five– six years old, six. And it was about Nakala and
Riva whose masterful artwork is still in my
white coat pocket. All the Flint kids
I knew and saw, all the kids that I’d
ever known and seen, and all the kids that I
had yet to know and see, were jumping out
of my spreadsheets, pushing me forward, giving
me the courage to speak out against a system that
wanted me to stay quiet. So I fought back with more
data and more science, and also with patients’ stories. We have stories. I was loud and persistent. And a growing team of resisters
was forming around me. Eyes began to open. And it became
impossible to look away. And it took a while. But finally the man-made
crisis was exposed. The state conceded. We went back on
Great Lakes water. And most importantly,
kids got protected. And since then, we have
been building and sharing our model of hope and recovery. And as much as
the story of Flint is a story of a crime committed
with absolute indifference to some of the most vulnerable
people in our country, it is a story of all of us. And that is why I am here today. It is about who we are
and who we want to be. It is a story of medicine
leaving the comfort zone of our hospital, our
classrooms, our clinics, and walking into community,
working hand in hand to challenge the status quo. One lesson that you
must take from my story is that your degree grants
you stature in your community. The doctor in front of
my name was a megaphone for the kids of Flint. And I used it. And I became the
voice of health. And in concert with
a growing team, we changed the trajectory
of an entire city. And I urge you, all of you,
every single one of you to be the voice of health. We are depending on you. We have been waiting
for all of you. Our patients cannot afford
to have the guardians of their health shut
their eyes, look away, and stay silent to injustices
that threaten their health. Pick your injustice. It’s not hard to
find these days. The credibility of
science is under attack, from vaccines to climate change. There is so much
work to be done. Regulations and
public health agencies like the EPA are
being dismantled. Too many children
are born into poverty with ever widening
income inequality. Health care access for millions
is out of reach and may swell. Rising drug prices
stall treatment. There is a full-out
assault on women’s bodies and reproductive health today. Gun violence is epidemic, and
our policymakers are bought. Slavery’s legacy has morphed
into mass incarceration. Children in cages,
separated from their parents and dying at the border. And like any malignancy, hate,
and racism, and nationalism are spreading all over this world. This is all happening now. And it’s making people
sick, filling hospital beds, dropping life expectancies,
and deteriorating our public’s health. And this is why we need you. And this is why I am
so absolutely hopeful looking out at all of you today. Use your fresh eyes to not
only diagnose problems, but also to prescribe solutions. We are healers. And healing means
getting Nakala and Riva the medical care they deserve. But also seeing
beyond the obvious and addressing what truly makes
families healthy and happy, like living wage jobs, income
equality, affordable housing, nutrition security,
restorative justice, clean air, clean water, and so much more. When you take that
oath really soon, you are committing to be
that healer, that protector. Sometimes that means being
on guard for a city that is being poisoned. And sometimes that
means being there for a person whose
life is slipping away. Sometimes that means holding
one tiny hand in yours. And sometimes that
means holding the hands of an entire population. We cannot predict the path
that will come before us. I never could have predicted
mine, an immigrant who came from someplace else
for something better, a doctor who was
just doing her job. You are moments away from
setting off on your own path. Hold on to those fresh eyes. Remember that your work
is all about people, and it is about all people. Never forget who you are and
the power that you now hold, and use it as it must be
used, for good, for people, for building a better world. Are you guys ready? [APPLAUSE] That was awesome. Louder. Are you guys ready? [APPLAUSE] Good. Because there is
no time to spare. It is time to get started. We have been waiting for
every single one of you. Congratulations, and thank you. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Dr. Hanna-Attisha. It is now my distinct
pleasure to introduce the Dean of the Harvard School
of Dental Medicine, Dr. Bruce Donoff. Dr. Donoff received his DMD from
the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and went on to earn
his MD from the Harvard Medical School as part of his residency
in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Massachusetts
General Hospital. He continued to work at MGH
being named chairman and chief of service in 1983 and becoming
the first Walter C. Guralnick professor of oral and
maxillofacial surgery. In his 28 year tenure
as dean, Dr. Donoff encouraged his students
to become oral physicians with a care and understanding
for the whole body. HSDM’s mission
reflects his aspiration to break down
traditional barriers between oral and
systemic health. And in this way, he has
truly served as the bridge between HSDM and HMS. Dr. Donoff’s efforts
were recognized with the prestigious
William J. Gies Foundation Award from the American
Dental Education Association in 2004 for
outstanding vision by an academic dental institution. Last month, Dr. Donoff
announced his plans to step down as dean of HSDM
at the end of this year. His legacy in leading
an institution rich in 150 years of tradition into
the future of dental education will never be forgotten. It is my sincere
honor and privilege to introduce our Dean of
the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Donoff. [APPLAUSE] Well, thank you so much. Congratulations to all. This is such a special
day for all the graduates of the Harvard School
of Dental Medicine and Harvard Medical
School, the class of 2019. Congratulations to you
and to all your loved ones who have helped you reach
this point in your lives. You are at a major milestone
of a long journey of education and training designed to
permit you to help people through the discovery,
application, and communication of knowledge,
competence, compassion, and caring. The development of wisdom
and clinical judgment through lifelong learning
and further experience represents the road ahead. Each year, I associate
the graduating class with a particular
event or accomplishment in order to create a
lasting memory for myself. This is easy this year,
for you are the first class to complete the Pathway program. Not the old New Pathway, but
the new Pathways program. You are also the first class,
the dental class, at least, to complete all your
national testing exams without a single failure. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] Two years ago, we celebrated
the 150th anniversary of the founding of
the Dental School at Harvard University,
a momentous occasion as the first dental school
in America associated with the university and its
medical school and the first to grant the DMD degree. That philosophy is our
legacy and our mantra. This morning, when I presented
the degree candidates to President Bacow, he
granted their degrees and welcomed them into a
demanding branch of medicine. It is no secret that
medicine and dentistry have evolved with an unnatural
professional separation that is helpful to no one and often
leads to unnecessary suffering on the part of patients. No one quite knows
whether the physicians who started the Baltimore
College of Dentistry in 1840 were thwarted by the
University of Maryland and its medical
school, or whether they wanted to be separate. This history, in fact,
is taught to first year medical, dental students here
at Harvard in the practice of medicine course. This began the
siloing of the two fields, which despite
several attempts for change– like the Gies report of
1926 calling for dentistry to stay close to
medicine but separate, the Institute of
Medicine report of 1995 calling for the
integration, or by the first ever Surgeon General’s Report
on oral health in 2001, which called oral
disease a silent epidemic and noted that oral health
is critical to general health and well-being. That siloization has
remained until today. Less so here. Our belief that dentistry
is a branch of medicine distinguishes our education,
our values, and the careers of our graduates. But increasing
knowledge supports the now widely recognized
links between oral health and medical health. The mouth is often
a wide open window into what is happening
in the rest of the body. And sometimes, a
source of risk as well. A second Surgeon General’s
report on oral health is now being
prepared, emphasizing the importance of oral
health to general health. Louis Menand, in his treatise,
“The Marketplace of Ideas,” states that the key to reform
of almost any kind in higher education lies not in the way
that knowledge is produced. It lies in the way that
the producers of knowledge are produced. You will be the leaders
in oral health because of the way you were selected
and the way you were produced. And you will have an impact
on health care as dentists. It was Dan Federman,
mentioned before, former HMS dean for
medical education, who called me one
day in 1986 when I was chief of oral and
maxillofacial surgery to say that he attended a
session of the double AMC meeting on teaching
medical students about dentistry and oral health. And Harvard should do this too. In fact, the program was
presented by Dr. Mort Lauber, a DMD MD graduate of HSDM. Yes, there was a brief time when
all dental students received the MD as well as the DMD. Dr. Lauber developed
his course for students at Georgetown Medical School. So I at the MGH, along with
Steve Sonas at the Brigham, initiated sessions
for medical students during their clerkships in the
essentials of dental medicine and oral health. This lead to the current oral
health day, which the combined classes enjoy during the first
year of the current curriculum, the Pathways Program. Our initiative to integrate
oral health and medicine, which began four
years ago, seeks to advance the education,
clinical practice, outcomes, and policy regarding
comprehensive disease management and the economic
imperative of good oral health. We work with the medical
schools primary care center to foster integration and
hope to create an integrated medical-dental practice
that will be a teaching unit for all students. Only two weeks ago,
I had the privilege of listening to
two MD MPP students discuss their reasons
for pursuing primary care and family medicine
at a session billed as a revolution
for primary care. One of those students
is graduating today. I like revolutions. Goodness knows the
American health care system needs some transformations. We believe in integrating
oral health and medical care. Doing this will be difficult
and take at least another month. [LAUGHTER] It will require, one, change
the cultures of medicine and dentistry, develop
new payment models, improve shared
information systems, and improve outcome
measurements. When I had just become
a professor and head of oral and maxillofacial
surgery at the MGH and Harvard, I had a series of
patient encounters that were remarkable because
of the patients involved, but also because
each was prescient of the remarkable
future of health care that you the graduates
are now entering. First, I had a patient whom
I had cared for two years before present for
a tooth extraction. He said hello, and then
told me to put on gloves. This was 1982. He said, put on gloves
before examining him. Mind you, most
dentists and physicians did not wear gloves for
general exams at the time. He said he had just
returned from Seattle, where he had a bone marrow
transplant, develop graft versus host disease, and
add something called an HIV infection. In the next year, I had
many calls from dentists, distraught because
they had cared for a patient who then told
them that they might have AIDS. You cannot believe the distress
and emotional climate of these calls. Interestingly, even
late into the 1980s as I taught Patient Doctor 1
and had a patient from the AIDS action committee
attend the meeting, students would ask if
it was OK to shake hands with the speaker. A disease that was a
diagnosis for death is now a treatable illness. That is part of health
care’s past and future. And science made it possible
and makes it possible. Pursuit of science and primary
care are not incompatible. I also recall a group of a dozen
young women with tongue cancer who were the antithesis of the
usual oral cancer patients. They had none of the
usual risk factors, and despite detailed
study of them all, we could not identify any reason
for them to have such cancers. However, just last month it was
shown that these patients have a marker PD1 which can be a very
useful indicator for patients with a relatively
well-behaved tongue cancer. I just received a New England
Journal email from the editor in chief’s 12 most
important papers since 2000. I’m sure many in the
audience did as well. One of those papers was
about HPV infection, the vaccine and prevention
of cervical cancer. But in fact, its relationship
to oropharyngeal cancer is as important. And vaccination prevents
this oral cancer as well. Why should mucosa in
one orifice of the body be different from another? We have come a long way. And science makes this possible. Medical treatment
of surgical disease is becoming a reality for
dental decay as well as cancers. We’ve come a long way
since Australian physicians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren
won a Nobel Prize in medicine in 2005 for the discovery
that gastric ulcers are caused by bacteria. The discovery of
Helicobacter pylori was groundbreaking and
opened up the study of the human microbiome, which
is so important to today’s understanding of many diseases. It will just take one
of you to discover how the human immune system
turns these normal inhabitants into pathogens. I liken the concept of natural
microbes being involved in disease with the
realization in the mid 1800s that cholera could be
transmitted by water, when at that time only
airborne spread of disease was acknowledged. So congratulations, to the 34
individuals receiving the DMD degree, the 11 with
honors in a special field, and the five receiving the
degree with general honors, the 19 receiving the master
of medical science degree, and the eight receiving the
doctor of medical science degree. And congratulations to all
the residents and fellows who are receiving
specialty certificates and will go on to make an
impact in their chosen fields. Always remember, we
are privileged to take care of people. Treat them well. Treat them kindly. And treat them with respect. Above all, treat
them all equally with one high standard of care. Don’t allow missions of
mercy, thousands of people lined up for free
dental care once a year, to become the profession
scar of oral health delivery for the underserved. Don’t permit our growing
elderly population’s oral health needs from being
excluded from Medicare. Your achievements should
make you very proud. Those who have helped you
reach this day and those who have nurtured and
sustained you share that pride. The entire HSDM community
and I feel no small measure of joy and pride in
your accomplishments. We look forward to your futures
with justifiably high hopes. Congratulations, class of 2019. I hope your memories
of HSDM and HMS will always remain a
treasured part of who you are and who you become. Be the leaders you are in
transforming oral health care and health care through science,
policy, and compassionate care. Most importantly, do the
right thing, especially when no one is watching. And now I would like to invite
Associate Dean for Dental Education Dr. Sang
Park to join me on stage for the conferring
of the DMD degree. Thank you very much
and congratulations. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Jill. Good afternoon. I’m Sang Park, Associate
Dean for Dental Education, the School of Dental Medicine. It is my honor to present to
you our incredible members of the Harvard School of
Dental Medicine Class of 2019. [APPLAUSE] These amazing women and men have
completed four or more years of studies toward the degree
of Doctor of Dental Medicine. Assisting in the
hooding today are members of our dental faculty. And they are Dr. Sam Coffin,
Dr. Ryan [INAUDIBLE],, Dr. Aram Kim, Dr. Armando
Pardo, and Dr. Esra Yener. This is a monumental moment for
our graduates in so many ways and also because they
are being addressed as doctors for the first time. Class, are you ready? [APPLAUSE] Dr. Adetaye Lloyd
Joseph Adeseye. [APPLAUSE] Hi, do you want to
come up to stay? [LAUGHTER] Actually this way. You take the stairs up. He’s very excited, you know. [LAUGHTER] Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Morgane Chloe Amat. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Petra Christina Bachour. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Megan Bryck. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Fiorella Alessandra
Candamo Aparicio. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Ingrid Carvo. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Tiffany Yu-jae Chien. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Christina Cho. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jacqueline Chou. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Babeck Ebadpour. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Justin Riece Fazzolari. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Thomas Casey Ferlito. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jacob Freilich, accompanied
by his adorable children, Jaffa and Isaac. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] They’re so adorable. Dr. Erica Shapiro Frenkel. She also earned the PhD
from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Science. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Joshua Genuth. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Puhan He. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Vicky Annay Herrera. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Hui Huang. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Bonface James. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Deepti Shroff Karhade. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sarah Blair Katzin. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jessica Langella. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Joshua LeVine. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sicong Li. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Justin Roy Montenegro. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jillian Patricia Muhlbauer. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Mirissa Danielle Price. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Elaina Pullano. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Zhen Shen, accompanied
by our future graduates, Luke and Damon. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] Dr. Edirin Elaine Sido. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Mary Katherine Spinella. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Dylan Starck. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Mindy Kim Truong. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Wicheta. [APPLAUSE] Ladies and gentlemen,
please join me in congratulating the Harvard
School of Dental Medicine Class of 2019. [APPLAUSE] Congratulations to
our incredible 34 DMD graduates today. It is now my honor to introduce
the Dean of Harvard Medical School, Dr. George Daley. After earning his
bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from
Harvard in 1982, Daley went on to earn his
PhD in biology at MIT. He received his MD from
HMS, graduating in 1991 with the rare distinction
of summa cum laude, an honor HMS has awarded only 18
times in the school’s history. He then pursued clinical
training in internal medicine at Massachusetts
General Hospital and was a clinical
fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and
Boston Children’s Hospitals. After an active
clinical practice in hematology and oncology
at Massachusetts General and Boston Children’s, he
assumed his administrative role as director of the Pediatric
stem cell transplantation program at Dana Farber and
Boston Children’s, a post he held until assuming his
current position as dean of the faculty of medicine. Dean Daley has served as a
member of the HMS faculty since 1995. And in 2010, he became
a full professor at HMS. Dean Daley’s research focuses
on the mechanisms that underlie blood disorders and cancer. In past research, he
demonstrated the central role of the BCR ABL oncoprotein
in human chronic myelogenous leukemia, work that provided
critical target validation for development of imatinib,
a highly effective therapy for cancer. It has been my pleasure to get
to know him over the last two years, and it is my
distinct privilege to welcome Dean
Daley to the podium. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Thank you very, very much. Colleagues, friends,
family, it’s truly exciting to be
here today to share what is a major milestone. It’s a great privilege
for me to be celebrating this transition in your
careers, the students, the class of 2019. Today, you’re becoming doctors. Whether you’re a
physician or a dentist, you’re joining a profession
that has rich traditions and has earned a well justified
respect and the honor that will be accorded your degrees. You’ve worked hard, incredibly
hard, to achieve your degrees. And today, you pledge yourselves
to a career in service to others, a career that calls
upon you to strive on behalf of your patients to
alleviate suffering and to enhance health
and well-being for all. You’ve made it. You’ve made us proud. And I’m honored to congratulate
you, the class of 2019. [APPLAUSE] Now, you have no doubt
waited a very long time to be called doctor for real. Now, for some of you, it’s been
maybe even all of your life. Can you recall when you
first set your sights on becoming a doctor? Well, sometimes we
need to be reminded of what it means to dream. And just last week,
I received an email from Laney Cuchara, a
12-year-old sixth grader who attends the Killdeer
Elementary School, which is 22 miles away from
her home in Holladay, North Dakota, population 197. Laney told me about
her father who works in the oil fields
and her mother who works at a bank and
volunteers as an EMT. Laney told me about her
teacher, Mrs. Helfridge, who spoke to her class recently
about the importance of preparing for
college, a conversation that prompted Laney to
set her sights on coming to Harvard to become a doctor. Laney is thinking of
specializing already. [LAUGHTER] Pediatric or
cardiovascular surgery, programs where she duly notes
Harvard ranks very high. [LAUGHTER] Laney also noted that her
current babysitting job and doing lots
and lots of chores aren’t enough to
pay for tuition. So she plans to work as a
teller at her mother’s bank when she becomes 16. And she hopes to
earn scholarships. I was tremendously moved and
inspired by Laney’s message. I wrote back to her, and I
said that achieving excellence through education
could change her life. Class of 2019, at some
point in your lives, whether it was sixth
grade or sometime later, you likely encountered
your own Mrs. Helfridge. You too were
encouraged by a mentor. You developed a
yearning around which your dreams of becoming a
doctor began to crystallize. Like Laney, you
fretted over grades, extracurricular activities. You agonized over test scores. The vast majority
of you wondered whether you could ever
shoulder the financial burden of your education. But above all, you dedicated
yourself to learning. You relished
intellectual challenge. You worked hard. And you earned your place
here through long hours of studying, through sacrifice
and sheer determination. You arrived at
Harvard Medical School as the very best
of the very best. And when you arrived
here, we challenged you to work even harder. You devoted yourself
to your studies. You pledged to live up to the
expectations of your mentors and your patients. You created new knowledge
through research. You worked in clinics here in
Boston and around the world. You saved lives. For your many
achievements, you have received well-deserved
recognitions, including one among you who will
graduate summa cum laude, becoming only the 19th
student and fourth woman ever to have earned this
distinction in the 237 year history of Harvard
Medical School. [APPLAUSE] Class of 2019, you have
changed Harvard Medical School. You founded the racial
justice coalition. You staged die-ins. We died with you. You marched for
science, for women. And we marched with you. You marched for your DACA
classmates, one of whom is marching here with you today. [APPLAUSE] You used your platform here
at Harvard Medical School to focus the eyes of the
nation on important causes, not for your own gain, but
because it was the right thing to do. You are trailblazers. As the first class to graduate
from the Pathways curriculum, you hold a special place in
the history of our school. You even led critical
components of our reaccredation, including two student surveys
that garnered an unheard of 98% participation rate. I’m not sure how
you did that, but I am certain I will
never be surprised what you will achieve. I hope you never lose the spirit
that compelled you to become a doctor in the first place. So take a moment, right now, to
think back to that time years ago when you were Laney Cuchara,
with big dreams, the drive to chase after them. Maybe even some of
you wrote a letter to the then-dean of
Harvard Medical School. Class of 2019, you’re leaving
Harvard Medical School a much better place than
it was when you arrived. Harvard hasn’t made you. You have made Harvard. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. But your work has just begun. [APPLAUSE] That’s a message. [LAUGHTER] Didn’t hit me. Apropos of that, you are
graduating at a fragile time in our society. [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] I didn’t make that up. Among the many concerns
we collectively face, as referenced before, is
a growing mistrust of expertise, a metastasizing notion
that gut feelings somehow carry as much or even more
weight than evidence and data. Now, there are few
settings in which people yearn for expertise and
expect evidence-based decision making more than in health care. Distrust of expertise
fades when your patient needs the skills of a doctor. Unfortunately,
almost every day we hear stories in the
media of individuals who profit by taking advantage
of privilege or gaming the institutions and systems
we place our trust in. You, the class of 2019, you are
the antidote to such cynicism. More than ever, we
need leaders who can guide us with insight,
wisdom, and compassion. And I am certain that
you are those leaders. Not by choice. Not by ambition. But by the sheer power
of your competence and your commitment
to serving others. In medicine, nothing
can substitute for hard work and dedication. The standards are too high. The tasks, too arduous. The responsibilities,
too great and meaningful. Fake it till you make it
doesn’t make it in medicine. High standards of excellence
and achievement, competence, not bravado and bloviation
make medicine one of the most respected
professions and one of the few that can be
considered a calling. So as you leave
Harvard and carry the privilege of being
a doctor, patients will depend upon you
to bring your expertise and your compassion
to serve their needs. I am confident that you will
continue to earn their trust, just as you have earned
your degrees here today. You’ve made your
mark on Harvard. Now it’s time for you to make
your mark upon the world. So once again, to the classic
2019, congratulations. We are so, so proud of you. And finally, before
I depart this stage, I want to give a special
recognition to my colleague Dr. Bruce Donoff, who later
this year will be stepping down after 28 years of distinguished
leadership of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Dean Donoff has
been a visionary who has advanced the cause of
integrating oral health and medicine. And through his
training of generations of Harvard students, he
leaves a profound legacy in the field of dental medicine. Thank you, Dean Donoff. [APPLAUSE] So this is the moment
you’ve all been waiting for. Let me invite the Dean
for Medical Education Ed Hundert, the Dean for
Students Fidencio Saldana to join me for the
conferring of the MD degrees. [APPLAUSE] All right, class. You did it. You’ve heard it before. Give yourselves
one more hand here. [APPLAUSE] I’d like all the students
to stand up, turn around. Give your parents and
loved ones a hand, please. [APPLAUSE] One more hand for Rosa Soler,
the Office of Student Affairs who put this together for you. We have a couple
of fun traditions. Our students are
very productive. They’re productive in many
ways in their education. I believe it was– we were
told that there have been as many peer
reviewed publications as graduates in this class,
which is quite extraordinary. We also have many students
who have had children while they’ve been here. So one of our traditions is
as you get your sheepskin, people carry their children
over and they get the lamby– sorry. That goes with the sheepskin. And for the parents who
are here who may not know, the students at Harvard
Medical School and Harvard School of Dental
Medicine are divided into five academic
societies, learning communities, that
provide support for them as they go through. And the faculty who provide
the hoods to the students are the faculty advisors and
staff in those societies. And each society is
led by an advisory dean who calls the name. So I’m going to ask
you to start hooding to get ready for the first
society, which is the Cannon Society. If you could prepare
some of the hoods to go. And one other tradition that
I wanted you to be aware of is the writing of an oath. So the dental and
medical students get together and write
their own oath each year. And as soon as we confer
all of the MD degrees, they’re going to be
calling Dean Daley back up to lead the class in the oath. And it’s really one
of the most moving experiences of the graduation. With that, I’m going to call
the advisory dean of the Cannon Society to read the first
set of names, Dr. Sara Fazio. Good afternoon. I would like to welcome
the Cannon Class of 2019. I’m Dr. Sara Fazio, the
very proud advisory dean. I would like to
introduce the faculty who will be hooding our graduates. Dr. Kate Treadway, Dr. Daniel
Kamin, and Dr. Julian Seifter. [APPLAUSE] All right, let’s get to it. Also receiving a PhD, I’d
like to introduce Dr. Stephen Azariah Allsop. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Piyawat Arichai. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Francesca Barrett. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving her MBA degree. Also receiving an MPH,
Dr. Agatha Brzezinski. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving an MPP,
Dr. Kyle Renard Burton. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Allison Eva Baker Chang. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving an MBA,
Dr. Christopher Devine. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Michael Alexander Dilorio. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Ryan Din. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sean Fletcher. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Galina Gheihman. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Nicole Goldhaber. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Rebecca Hammond. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Emily Huang. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Iny Jhun. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Elliana Kirsh Devore. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Nayan Lamba. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Cameron Lee. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving an
MPH and a master’s of medical science,
Dr. David Lee. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jingyi Liu. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving an
MBA, Dr. Keenan Mahan. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Alex Ruan. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Robert Rudy. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving a master’s of
medical science, Dr. Krishan Sharma. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving an
MBA, Dr. Ashley Shaw. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jenny Shih. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Katherine Yates. [APPLAUSE] And last but not
least, Dr. Tenny Zhang. [APPLAUSE] All right, let me just give
one last congratulations to the awesome
Cannon Class of 2019. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] So the next society,
the Castle Society, can step forward and start
getting hooded to get ahead on the line. I want to just say one more
word about the class oath. So the class oath this
year is written as a pledge to the students’ patients,
to the doctors’ patients. Some years it’s sort
of a pledge in general. And they’ve written this
really quite beautiful pledge to uphold their
patients’ dignity, to offer their best
self to their patients, to foster collaboration
and mutuality, to practice with the
highest quality of care, and to care for all. And in that spirit,
I’m going to welcome the advisory dean of the Castle
Society, Dr. Jennifer Potter. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon, everybody. It is my great
pleasure to present the HMS Class of 29 graduates
from the William B. Castle Society. Dr. Laura Banashek. [APPLAUSE] And I neglected to introduce
our faculty and program coordinator who
are hooding today, so I’m going to
back up to do that. Hooding the graduates are my
co-advisors Dr. Nicki Johnson, Dr. Alden Landry, senior advisor
Dr. William Taylor, and program coordinator Claudia Galeas. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Yosef Berlyand. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Alejandro Cortes. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Daniel Curiel. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Steven Dalvin. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sheila Enamandram. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Gabriel Fregoso. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Abraham Geller. [APPLAUSE] Accompanied by a very new baby. Dr. Nicolas Govea. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Alison Holliday. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jessica Holtzman. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Michael Hughes. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Manjinder Kandola. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sanjay Kishore. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Margaret Krasne. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Vipul Kumar. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Krystle Leung. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Michael McClurkin. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Pooja Mehta. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Benjamin Mormann. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Rumbi Mushavi. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Rahul Nayak. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Deanna Palenzuela. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Faith Robertson. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Danielle Rabinowitz. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Priyanka Saha. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Christine Santiago. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Andrew Schneider. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Mubeen Shakir. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jessica Stuart. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Howard Zihao Yan. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Joseph Zacharias. [APPLAUSE] And Dr. Carmen Zhou. [APPLAUSE] Please join me in congratulating
the Class of 2019 Castle graduates. The next society– in case you
were looking for the pattern, it’s alphabetical– is the Holmes Society. I’d like to ask the
Holmes hooders to start hooding the students. And as they do so, I’m
going to call on Dr. Anthony D’Amico, the advisory dean
of the Holmes Society, to come on up. All right, thank
you, Dean Hundert. It’s truly a pleasure
and a privilege now to be able to announce
for the first time the word doctor on our
newly appointed physicians of the Oliver Wendell
Holmes society. Hooding is Dr. Nhi-ha Trinh, and
our emeritus advisor, Dr. Helen Shields, and also our
emeritus program oversight, Ms. [INAUDIBLE]. So we’ll start with
Dr. Vishal Arora. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Ryan Bartholomew. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his doctorate
of philosophy, Dr. Neil Blok. [APPLAUSE] Also having received
her master’s of public health, Dr. Kia Byrd. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Dana Callahan. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Daniel Ceasar. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving her masters of
public policy, Dr. Stephanie Choi. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Alyssa Ehrlich. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Leo Eisenstein. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Luis Fandino. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Whitney Fitts. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving her
master’s of business administration, Dr.
Smitha Ganeshan. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his doctorate
of philosophy, Dr. Dan Gui. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Saksham Gupta. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Margaret Hayden. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Samantha Landino. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Dalia Larios. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving her doctorate of
philosophy, Dr. Ellen Leitman. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Howard Li. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Christina Liu. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Marissa Lynn. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Vihang Nakhate. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Marissa Palmor. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Justin Partridge. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving her doctorate
of philosophy, Dr. Cassandra Peitzman. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Miranda Ravicz. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Michael Silva. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Marissa Shoji. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Henry Su. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sivakumar Sundaram. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] Dr. Virginia Tran. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his master’s
of public policy, Dr. Danny Vasquez. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Darshali Vyas. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Amy Wang. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Robert Weatherford. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Winona Wu. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Brian Yang. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Mark Yost. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] A final congratulations
to the physicians of the Oliver Wendell
Holmes Society. Next, we’ll ask the hooders
from the Irving London society to begin hooding the students. As many of you know,
the London Society houses our health sciences
and technology program. And so– [CHEERING] Woo! And so I’m delighted
to invite up the Advisory Dean of
the London Society and Co-director of HSD,
Dr. Wolfram Goessling. [APPLAUSE] London Society, HST
students, family, friends, I’d like to introduce the
members of the faculty who will be hooding the
London HST students today. They’re my good friends and
colleagues Junne Kamihara, Rick Mitchell, and Matthew Frosch,
associate directors of HST. Joining us as well are
the society administrators Patty Cunningham, Karrol
Altarejos, Zara Smith, and Cate Hodgins. It is now my pleasure to
introduce to you the graduates of the Irving M. London
Society of the Harvard MIT Division of Health
Sciences and Technology. Dr. Kavitha Anandalingam. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Annabelle Anandappa. [APPLAUSE] Dr. David Bozym. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Eun Young Ellis Choi. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jennifer Choi. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving her PhD from
Harvard University, Dr. Ershela Durresi. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his MPH
from Harvard University, Dr. Jonathan Fisher. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jingyi Gong. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his PhD from
Harvard University, Dr. Dustin Griesemer. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving her PhD
from Harvard University, Dr. Joyce Hwang. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Brandon Law. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Daniel Lee. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his PhD from
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Dayan Li. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Vivian Liu. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his PhD from
Harvard University, Dr. William Lo. [APPLAUSE] Newly commissioned Air Force
Captain, Dr. Ronit Malka. [APPLAUSE] Graduating summa cum
laude, Dr. Diana Miao. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Ann Robbins. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Katherine Roche. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Aly Shamji. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Andre Shomorony. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his PhD
from Harvard University, Dr. Quinlan Sievers. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Alicia Smart. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his MBA
from Harvard University, Dr. Vishwajith Sridharan. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his PhD
from Harvard University, Dr. Benjamin Steinhorn. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his PhD from
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr.
Vincentius Jeremy Suhardi. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the PhD from
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Dr. Zhi-Yang Tsun. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving his PhD
from Harvard University, Dr. Jeremiah Wala. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Kathy Wang. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving her PhD from
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr.
Rachel Wolfson. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Michael Wu. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Connie Zhao. [APPLAUSE] Again, congratulations to all of
you, London HST Class of 2019. [APPLAUSE] And last but not least, I invite
the members of the Francis Weld Peabody society
and their hooders to come forward
and begin hooding. Francis Weld Peabody is the
author of the immortal 1920s article called, “The
Care of the Patient,” in which he wrote
the words that, the secret of the
care of the patient, is in caring for the patient. Keep that in mind. It’s now my pleasure
to introduce the Advisory Dean of the Peabody
Society, Dr. Bernard Chang. Good afternoon. It’s my great pleasure
to introduce to you the class of 2019 graduating
students from the Peabody Society. Assisting in
hooding our students are Dr. Beverly Woo, Dr.
Holly Khachadoorian-Elia, and the inaugural
and founding head of Peabody Society,
Dr. Ronald Arky. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Amir Ameri. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Soraya Azzawi. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Christopher Calahan. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Joshua Caldwell. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Kelly Chacon. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Michael Chilazi. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Alexandra Giantini Larsen. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Alissa Groisser. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Anand Habib. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Leangelo Hall. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Maya Harary. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Robert Hayden. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the master
of public health degree, Dr. Jaeho Hwang. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Magdalena Ivanova. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the master
of science degree, Dr. Otana Jakpor. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Arielle Kushman. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the master
of business administration, Dr. Daniel Liebman. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the master
of public health degree, Dr. Diego Lopez. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the master of
business administration degree, Dr. Tracy Lu. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Alejandra Marquez Loza. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Anna Morenz. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Cameron Nutt. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the master
of business administration, Dr. David Osayande. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Sagar Raju. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Lauren Schleimer. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the master
of public policy degree, Dr. Megan Townsend. [APPLAUSE] Also receiving the master of
business administration degree, Dr. Eugene Vaios. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Octavio Viramontes. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Jonathan Webster. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Kara Yeung. [APPLAUSE] Dr. Biqi Zhang. [APPLAUSE] One more round of applause,
please, for our Peabody Society graduates. [APPLAUSE] How about one more
round of applause for all the graduates, Harvard
School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Beautiful. Fantastic, fantastic. Now the time has come
to take the oath. Since the time of Hippocrates– that’s over 2000 years
ago– medical practitioners have taken an oath to uphold
the principles to which they dedicate themselves. In setting forth
these principles, the oath serves both as a
contract with the community and as an affirmation of a deep
commitment to the profession. Today, class of 2019, you
stand before family, friends, teachers, colleagues, poised
to join a rich tradition of discovery and healing. Being mindful of the debt you
owe to the mentorship of those who came before you, while
recognizing that your work will inform the practices
of those who follow, you have created an
oath drawing on elements both ancient and recent. I now invite you as a class
to stand and articulate the ideals and principles
that will guide you in your journey as
physicians and dentists. Today, upon being admitted to
the professions of medicine and dentistry, I pledge to
honor to the best of my ability and judgment this oath. I make these promises
to you, my patients. To uphold your dignity, I
will listen with curiosity and without
judgment, recognizing that behind every
illness is a human story. I will respect your
privacy and treat you with kindness,
empathy, and humility. I will empower you. I will give you voice
and offer you choice. I will cure when possible,
heal to the extent that I am capable, and
comfort you always. To offer my best
self, I will remember that I am worthy of this
profession and the privilege of caring for you. I will embrace my
imperfections with compassion, viewing them not as failures,
but as opportunities for growth. I will practice and
promote self care, openly sharing my
vulnerabilities to create safe spaces for healing. I will be courageous and willing
to risk failure, admit error, and ask for forgiveness. To foster collaboration
and mutuality, I will work with
others on your team, united by the common
goal of caring for you. I will recognize the expertise
of your lived experience and share decisions in
partnership with you. I will ask for help when I reach
the boundaries of my abilities and offer help to
those reaching theirs. I will cultivate a
culture of resilience, advocating for
structural changes to support my profession. To practice the highest
quality of care, I will be a lifelong
learner, recognizing that medicine is an
ever-changing art and science. I will advance knowledge through
scholarship and innovation, guided by integrity. I will celebrate the
hard-earned progress made by those who came before
me and share this learning with those who seek it. To care for all, I will embrace
my citizenship and humanity and my obligation to act for
the benefit of all human beings. I will challenge
my biases, striving to provide care
that is inclusive of all aspects of identity. I will combat
structural oppression, promote social justice,
and model ethical action. I will leverage my
position of privilege to halt inequities
and restructure systems that fail you. Today, I stand with my
peers in solidarity, united by our professions
and these promises. I celebrate where
I have come from and look to the
future with hope. With gratitude to all
who have supported me, I take this oath freely,
joyfully, and upon my honor. [APPLAUSE] And it is a great
honor, great honor, to send you out
into the world today to practice in good
faith that for which you have so diligently trained. Let me be one of the first
to officially welcome you, my fellow doctors,
into the profession. I wish you long, noble,
and productive careers. The world will be a better
place because you are in it. Congratulations on this day. [APPLAUSE] And enjoy the evening. [SIDE CONVERSATION]

5 thoughts on “Harvard Medical School Class Day 2019

  1. These graduates and their parents must’ve been proud as fuck. I can’t even imagine the feeling of being on that stage and receiving your degree. Graduating from Harvard Medical School.

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