This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Emily Holland.
From stories about lab work and trips overseas to talks about changes in the medical field, speakers advised School of Medicine and Health Sciences graduates to adapt and work together as they make their way into the realm of health care.
Here are the key points from the celebration:
1. Adjust to an evolving field
As the first generation of health care professionals working under the Affordable Care Act, graduates heard speeches about how their field might change.
Christine Boyer, recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award, urged students to accept the challenges and opportunities posed by the Affordable Care Act, no matter their personal feelings toward the law.
“As I am sure we have all become keenly aware, barriers to quality health care do not exist exclusively in developing countries,” Boyer said. “We need researchers to develop the newest tests, pharmacists working on the latest drugs and health care leaders working on a system where providers can meet their patients wherever they are, whatever their obstacles and receive the care they need.”
2. Lead through community service
Joseph Bocchino, senior associate dean for health sciences, emphasized that the graduates must reach out to local groups and tackle inequality.
“While we strive to make health care accessible to everyone, the reality is that disparities and barriers exist throughout the world and, yes, even in this country, even in this city,” Bocchino said. “We each have a moral obligation to work towards equalizing this basic fundamental right to health care.”
3. Focus on interdisciplinary teamwork
With four different degrees and about 20 programs represented in the graduating class, both Boyer and Bocchino said collaboration would take medical research to the next level.
“Teamwork in interprofessional approaches to health care are critical to transforming and more readily alleviating many of the healthcare challenges that exist today,” Bocchino said.
4. “Go out and learn more.”
In the ever-changing health care field, Bocchino said students would need to constantly learn and question their knowledge and opinions to make necessary improvements.
He said new technologies, legislation and studies will all impact what they learn and how they apply their knowledge to their chosen careers.
“Now take the first steps questioning years of practice and ask whether what we do still makes sense in this current environment,” Bocchino said.