Here we are. It's the end. So, the thoughts I'm leaving you all
with, are what I deem, my "commencement speech." I wasn't asked to
give the commencement speech (I don't even know if we have students
give one at all), but if I had been -- this is what it might be
In the immortal words of Diane Court, from one of the seminal
movies of MY generation (Say Anything):
"We're all about to enter 'The
Real World.' That's what everybody says. But most of us have been
in the real world for a long time. But I have something to tell
everybody. I glimpsed our future, and all I can say is... 'Go
Well, Diane, I don't have the same advice.
Yes, we're about to go out into the "Real World," and some of us
have been out there all along, and long before, but it's different
now for us. Some people have their whole lives and careers ahead of
them. They have families to create and fortunes to make -- names
for themselves. Others have different goals entirely -- coming to
this as a steppingstone, or a second career, or both. These are
exciting, and scary times for all of us. Because after we walk
across this stage, after the fanfare and the parties and the
dinners and whatever else, we'll simply be -- Doctors.
It's a title -- sure. But it doesn't mean anything unless we
MAKE it mean something. If I've learned anything at all over the
course of my professional and academic lives (and there have been a
few), it doesn't mean anything at all, if we don't do something
We're called to be leaders and teachers. We're called to make a
difference in the lives of our patients and communities. And if we
so choose, we're called to be revolutionaries.
When people ask me (nowadays) what I want to be when I grow up,
I often use the following quote (also from Say Anything -- in the
voice of the illustrious Lloyd Dobbler):
"You mean like career? Uh, I
don't know. I've, I've thought about this quite a bit, Sir, and I'd
have to say considering what's waiting out there for me, I don't
want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a
career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy
anything sold or processed, or... process anything sold, bought or
processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed, you know,
as a career I don't want to do that."
And I might add.... So, I'm becoming a Doctor.
For those of you contemplating a career as a physician, know
that it is one of the hardest choices you could ever make. The
school is grueling, the hours are long, and the thanks may not be
plentiful. If you can choose ANYTHING else that you believe you'd
be happy with, do it. If you want to be a lifelong student,
challenged every single day, and called to be more than you ever
thought you could possibly be, it's the perfect place for you. What
are you waiting for?
As for me, the first part (Yes, I said first part) of my
education is over. There may be more studies. There may be research
projects. There may be additional degrees. But I'm far from being
finished. I'm just getting started. And so are my classmates.
It's been a ridiculously long, hard road. We've been through a
lot together. There were times we hated each other -- and times we
couldn't hug each other hard enough. I have watched my classmates
grow as people and as practitioners -- into things they never
thought they could be. From the first day of dissection when people
didn't know if they could handle it, to the last days of clinic
when some of us knew we'd never see each other again after
graduation -- we are family.
For those just getting started, don't give up. No matter what --
whenever you're struggling or Life hands you a speed bump... DO.
NOT. GIVE. UP. Persevere! Keep studying. Keep moving. Keep trying.
Keep learning. I have faith in You... just like You've had faith in
Look out world. Here I come.
It must've been sometime around my sophomore year in high
school, when I was taking World History, that I realized that if I
had motivation to do something, anything, it would get done. It
wasn't that World History was all that difficult; it was that I had
absolutely no interest in it. I had no
Finals are the time when I have to find the motivation to keep
going--when I have to find things to keep me motivated to make it
through. So, below I am listing a few things that are giving me
This is just a smattering of things floating around in my
Sometimes, we need a little inspiration. This morning I heard
board pass rate statistics (Go National!), which are not too
shabby. I've caught a few videos on YouTube and Facebook
encouraging me to keep going (a little bit of inspiration never
hurts). I've been sent a million cute pictures of cats and maybe
even more quotes superimposed on beautiful mountain
The best motivation, however, is the desire to know. I look at
most of my classes as a tease. We're exposed to some small snippet
of factoid about some condition, some biochemistry, some
physiology, or some treatment. It might be enough to pass the
boards. It might even be enough for some people to use in their
practice later on. But for most of us, it's just a primer for what
we need to know. Every time I come across someone that has an issue
that I don't know the answer to, it encourages me to learn--the
more obscure the issue, the greater the learning opportunity. These
opportunities fuel me.
Finals start this week. Adrenaline keeps me moving, but
inspiration keeps me going. What motivates you? What inspires
I wish you great fortune on finals, everyone. See you in a few
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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