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Healthcare Leaders Address Class of 2011

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, June 16, 2011

"My best advice is to learn to be passionate about each of the roles that you are embarking on. My privilege in life has been to find that I am always pulling myself away from one passionate and exciting activity to another that needs to be done and that I love doing. The balance between these forces is dynamic; and it constantly needs to be reassessed and changed at different stages of your career."

Washington University School of Medicine

Matthew C. Spitzer, M.D., president of the board of directors for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders USA

"Refuse what is unacceptable to our humanity; refuse what contradicts the physician's oath you will take today. Sooner rather than later, you will be asked if you will see a patient who doesn't have insurance and can't pay. Will you give the same time and dedicated care? Will you accept or will you push and break through the limits of where you are and what you do? See what is around you; choose to act and raise your voice. Refuse to accept that in this country the poor get worse care, many vets don't get adequate care for physical and mental trauma, and that the homeless are not brought inside the walls of the office. Determine what you do by what needs you see, what you are moved by, bring all of what you know to bear, and when you see that isn't enough, question what you know and demand something more."

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Ann C. Bonham, Ph.D., chief scientific officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges

"I come from a world of science – my passion is to improve health through discovery. My plea to you is to recognize your role and your social contract with patients by integrating research into your clinical care. Some of you may actively engage in designing medical research, others may participate – either in multi-site clinical research networks or in other ways – but all of you can advance medical care by embracing research as good for your patients and your practice."

University of Florida College of Medicine

Peter Small, M.D., an expert on tuberculosis and a senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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