President Edward Guiliano addresses graduates at the 32nd Hooding of NYIT's College of Osteopathic Medicine on May 20, 2013.
Good morning and congratulations again…doctors! Sounds terrific, doesn’t it?
It is an honor and a privilege for my colleagues and me to see you graduate. Thank you, in advance, for your dedication and commitment to bringing a hands-on patient-centered approach to the practice of medicine.
I thank Dr. Brawley for being with us yesterday and again today. You inspire us with your achievements.
Further thanks go to Dr. Norman Gevitz for his service and contributions to NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, particularly his leadership of the Academic Medicine Scholars program, and wish him well at his new assignment.
Yesterday, I mentioned how prepared you graduates are to face challenges outside the academy.
A few months ago, a poll noted that access to health care and its cost remain Americans’ top medical concerns.By the way, back in 2001, bio-terrorism held the top slot as the number one public health worry. From 1987 to 1999, it was AIDS.
Getting medical care and paying for it are on patients’ minds, in addition to whatever ails them.
A recent article in The Atlantic was entitled, “The Robot Will See You Now.”
While the headline was edgy, the article actually delivered a fascinating look at the future of medical technology or really data technology and how computers and software will be disruption collaborators in helping us to diagnose more fully and faster.
One of the innovations just around the corner involves a retraining of Watson, the famous IBM supercomputer who competed – and won -- on Jeopardy. The computer is now undergoing a new education so it can help better process medical information, make a diagnosis, and recommend a treatment. New devices and software are in development, including a special vest to be worn under clothing that detects data from people with chronic diseases, making sure they’re taking readings or medications as their human physicians prescribe.
Of course we know about robots in the operating room, inside and outside the patient, and at NYIT you met Dr. Errichetti and his colleagues who look after our robots that reside in the Institute for Clinical Competence.
As I mentioned yesterday, you are graduating from a school with “Technology” in its name, and you’ve been trained to use technology, and you’ll be comfortable learning more in the years to come, in part because of the excellent introduction to it that you received at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine.
You’ve also learned about leadership – thanks in large part to Dr. Ross-Lee, who I know has spoken to you more than once about that topic and who has helped make this school well-known for providing leadership in the medical policy arena. And you’ve also been trained in hands-on care, thanks to your Dean, Dr. Gilliar, and others who have taught you the art and science of osteopathic manipulative medicine.
So yes, we know the human side of medicine is central – for patients and for you: as of today doctors of osteopathic medicine.
In a recent interview with NYIT Magazine, a graduate of the College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 1997 was asked about the future of osteopathic medicine. She said: “We need to make sure of who we are and what we stand for.”
And that bears repeating as you now venture into your residencies. Make sure of who you are and what you stand for.
As a graduate of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, you now belong to a special group of 6,000 alumni, including many who treat patients in the tri-state area. In fact the school that has produced the most physicians practicing primary care in New York State is: New York Institute of Technology. Whether you go on to become pediatricians or physicians who provide the set of services known as primary care, or whether you venture into public policy or another specialty, know that you can make an incredible impact on the health of others.
Some of you have already done that – in your clerkships at our affiliated hospitals or in far-flung places like Ghana, Haiti, and El Salvador, where the NYIT Center for Global Health provides care and support for people who rarely have the opportunity or means to see a doctor. And it’s noteworthy to remind you of the valuable concept of teamwork you learned here – side by side with NYIT’s nurses- and physician assistants-in-training.
Some of you have identified yourselves and made your mark in other ways. Whether it’s participating in runs or walk-a-thons to support certain causes, shaving your heads at St. Baldrick’s fundraisers…or growing moustaches to bring awareness to Men’s Health in “Mo-Vember”…or composing songs and poems to honor your “first patients” - the people who donated their bodies so you could learn anatomy – you have demonstrated the human connection that is so vital to your field.
I salute the 284 new physicians in this auditorium. Today, you leave here with a great responsibility: to combine your compassion, experience, and education to make a difference in people’s lives.
Enjoy the future. You have chosen a noble profession where you always will need to be students. But you’ve proven you’re pretty good at that…
And here’s a simple closing thought:
Aristotle once said: “Laughter is a bodily exercise precious to health.”
So keep smiling…and laughing.
Congratulations and good luck in your professional and personal lives.