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Healthcare Leaders Address Class of 2011

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

".. medicine is not only humbling because of the mass of information you are expected to know, medicine is humbling because of the way it will confront you with the really big questions you will never answer. As an intern in the San Francisco General Hospital Emergency Room, it was my responsibility during shock trauma codes to perform open chest cardiac massage - to put my gloved hand inside the chest of a patient and manually squeeze their heart in a desperate last ditch attempt to keep blood flowing to their brain. I'll never forget the day I did this for a man who happened to be about my age who had the simple bad luck to be struck by a bus. To hold the heart and feel the last beat of life of a man who, but for the grace of god, could have been me, has posed questions that humble me to this day. 

Penn State College of Medicine
Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., president, Brigham and Women's/Faulkner Hospitals in Boston

"Therapies mean nothing unless a 60-year-old patient can play with his grandchildren or a six-year-old leukemia patient gets to play on her jungle gym. Keep people first. One size does not fit all when it comes to patient care."

University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Henry Lee, M.D., forensic scientist and endowed professor at the University of New Haven

"You might expect me to talk to you about who killed Jon Bennet Ramsey. Did Vincent Foster commit suicide? Was Lee Harvey Oswald the lone assassin of JFK or was it conspiracy? Or how did the jury reach the verdict in the OJ Simpson case? No, I am not; I am here to share with you some my life experiences and to give you some simple advice on how to be successful in life.

"Once you have your success, you should share you success with others, share your knowledge, your strength, and your passion with others. Just think about how many people in the future will come to you for comfort, healing, and hope. Just think about all those medical and scientific breakthroughs that will be uncovered by you. Because of you this world will be a much better place to live.

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