Medical Student Graduation Speech
A. Hook: Faculty, Families, Friends, and Honored Graduates!
B. Thesis: I don’t have words enough to express my gratitude for the chance to speak with you on this special day. Being up here in this role is a joy I wouldn’t have dared to dream. Thank you very much!
II. The Body
A. The Incident:
As Hippocrates stated, “Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.” I’m sure that all of us are truly connected through this quote. Our choice of medicine wasn’t an accident. I think that medicine is nothing without love of humanity.
Today we are gaining a new profession, a profession as doctors. From now on – it will be a central part of who we are, and over time the most important part of our lives.
B. What I learned:
I decided to become a doctor early during my school years. When I was five years old, I was sure that my future profession would be connected to the field of medicine. Throughout the years at school I studied biology and anatomy, thanks to my parents who always supported my interest with different encyclopedias and books. When the time came to choose a college, without hesitation, I chose a medical school.
It is a major honor to have been a student within these walls. We gained more than just knowledge – we overcame our doubts and fears. We have made considerable strides into our future endeavor to become good doctors.
C. Personal story
I tend to think in stories, and an incident that strongly influenced me took place half a year ago. In that moment I understood that a real doctor should be attentive in every step. I was on an internal medicine practice in a Valentino Hospital. The mentor had assigned me three patients for whom to take primary responsibility. One of the patients was a man in his 60s who had been admitted because—I’ll use the technical term here—he didn’t feel too good. He had a cough and his body ached. He had no fever and his pulse and blood pressure were fine. However, the lab revealed his white count was up, and a chest X-ray showed possible pneumonia. So, he was admitted to the hospital under my care. I went to see him twice a day. I checked his vital signs and listened to his lungs. His condition remained constant.
One day, at seven o’clock in the morning, he had a low-grade fever. My mentor said to keep an eye on him. Because I thought that he seemed to be just as he had been, I decided to take a look at him in the early afternoon, before my usual visits. However, my mentor had decided to personally check on the patient earlier. When my mentor checked the patient, he found that the patient had a high-grade fever and immediately transferred him to the intensive care unit. To my great confusion and the patient’s good fortune, my mentor had already administered needed medication. The patient was suffering septic shock that developed from fulminant pneumonia.
Since that incident, I ask myself everyday– Am I performing well? All my decisions as a doctor influence the lives of my patients. Another lesson I’ve learned is to count only on myself. If one wants work done properly, monitoring the situation is always a key element.
So, I wish to express my appreciation.
First, thank you to the college and our mentors. You taught us theory and practice. You gave us inspiration to strive for perfection. You have become a real example to follow.
Also, I want to thank our parents. They gave us all their love and care. The support that they provided is a real treasure. I love you, Mum and Dad! Thank you!
Finally, I want to thank all of you who gathered today. It is a tremendous joy to see you here and to share with you this marvelous moment.
In closing, I want to remind you to never stop learning, and never forget that medicine is an art practiced by doctors. We bring to people not only technology and training, but also our humanity and caring.
1. “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance.” Dr. Atul Gawande, Harvard Med School 2005
2. “Collins Commencement Address.” Francis S. University of Virginia, May 20, 2001
3. “Inspiring Speech for new Medical Graduates.” Malaysian medical resources, October 15th, 2012