After attending a medical graduation, a new sense of optimism

I recently attended the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine graduation for the class of 2013. It had special meaning for me since this was the last group of students at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine-Charles M. Schmidt Florida Atlantic University (FAU) joint venture to pass through my tutelage prior to the Boca Raton program becoming solely an FAU program.

One of the graduates visited my office weekly for two years and then once per quarter the following year.   He came to me as a first year student to learn how to take a history and do a physical exam after being out in the world working for a few years, post-college, as a psychiatric nurse.  He was extremely nervous about being able to remember how to study and succeed at test taking with the younger more academic students.  He brought a mature determined attitude to his mission and was now finishing at the top of the class.

Also among the graduates was my niece who liked the small class size of the program, the early introduction of patient contact and the ability to develop strong relationships with the faculty. Despite being a mature 23-year-old future pediatric emergency room physician, at 56 inches and 85 lbs., she still got “carded” when she ordered white wine at a post ceremony celebration.

Then there was “Mike” a young enthusiastic African American student who I met for the first time last year while chaperoning a community service health screening in an impoverished section of Fort Lauderdale. My first year student is his best friend and he sent Mike over to me because his mentor was not present.

“I have this middle aged woman with a butterfly rash and all the signs and symptoms of lupus. I have never seen lupus before so how do I help her.”

Mike was correct in his diagnosis and then became her supporter and advocate in helping her gain access to medical care and follow up.

At the post-ceremony reception we met Adam, the son of a colleague, who gave my wife a big hug because she was his teacher in 3-year-old preschool and he remembered her because she taught him to love education and learning.

The president of the University of Miami,, and former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, presided over the ceremonies and reminded the new physicians of what an exciting time this was to be entering the field of medicine.  These young physicians will be at the forefront of the changes in health care delivery in medicine.  They have been given the best of training over four years in evidence based medicine and all the latest technology without forgetting the importance of the personal touch and humanism.  The caring and compassion for others putting the patients’ needs first was the theme hammered home all night by the talented and accomplished faculty and guest speakers.

I left the ceremonies with a new sense of optimism looking at a diverse but already accomplished group of young physicians.  I feel comfortable they will steer patient care in the correct direction and I feel fortunate that I was able to play a very small role in their nurturing and education.

Steven Reznick is an internal medicine physician and can be reached at Boca Raton Concierge Doctor.

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  • DavidBehar

    “Diverse?” I attended a recent med school graduation too, in the USA. There were almost no white people.

    • Steven Reznick

      There were at least a 50/50 split of men and women. The class had a large number of Caucasian, black, Asian, individuals. There were some pregnant graduates. This isnt propaganda. These students had extraordinary MCAT’s and National Board Scores. They earned their way into a fine program and demonstrated their growth over the four years in the classroom, in the clinics and in the community. U of Miami Miller School of Medicine was proud to offer them an opportunity and through my contacts with numerous students I can say they will be great stewards of the profession. I didnt attend the U of Miami Medical School and have no reason to laud them other than that they earned it.

      • DavidBehar

        How many were white, including Jews or recent immigrant from Europe? Are you implying there were just no whites with equivalent scores in the applicant pool?

        There is now a systematic program to exclude assertive whites, especially males. You are lauding a government plan to crush clinical care, which includes eliminating the type of people that know their rights and might stand up to government. It is called diversity, but it is the opposite of diversity, it is left wing, PC orthodoxy, and part of an all out attack on clinical care. Stop carrying the toxic water of that man hating, America hating, feminist abomination, Donna Shalala.

        • Steven Reznick

          One of the great things about this country is that freedom of speech is available to even those like you David who make hate filled comments. I am far from a liberal PC type of guy. I am more of a treat each issue independently rather than decide based on a liberal or conservative label. I respect what Donna Shalala has done for the medical school and the university community in Coral Gables. I don;t have to agree with her politics or beliefs but do recognize achievement when I see it.
          Competition for available spots in medical school is always fierce. In my medical school days there were always 100 qualified applicants for every available spot. Many of my highly talented and accomplished undergraduate colleagues went to Europe or Mexico to receive their medical school education because it was their hearts desire. Those same opportunities exist for students today as well if they do not get into a US school.
          Yes there is a master plan to change the face of American medicine, make it into inpatient and outpatient tracts, shorten medical school length and residency training years and make physicians into shift working employees. The movement came from corporations and businesses looking to spend less on health care but still receive that illusive and undefinable ” quality” stamp of approval. The same corporate types who determine who runs for political office and who wins are dictating the changes in medical education and practice. These changes which you and I dislike in no way diminish the educational accomplishments and achievements of todays medical students and residents. They are top quality and entering the profession for many of the same reasons past generations of physicians did, to help people.

          • DavidBehar

            Steve: I can cut health costs by 50%, improve outcomes, come close to stopping all error, provide top coverage to the uninsured, and simultaneously double the pace of improvement, including basic sciences. This can be done by a single simple method. If corporations and government wanted to do that, the method is self-evident. No, they want to take over the health budget, and grow government control. Degrading the doctor pool with pliant immigrants is a tactic, among many others.

            One should also vet these applicants for Jihadist world views, and exclude them by official regulation. Should a member of the KKK be admitted to med school? Why should a Muslim terrorist? No? Then welcome to England, and to Ford Hood. PC by stupid left wing doctors is the proximate cause of the London subway bombings and the Fort Hood murders.

            Because salaries are the biggest line item in health budgets, would you be ready to fire half the health workers?

            I happen to be a first generation immigrant, and not from Europe, so I am arguing against interest.

  • janiceamancuso

    As someone who spends a lot of time reading about physicians – past, present, and future – and who is committed to continuing to produce CME programs that address the needs of doctors who are burned out and contemplating leaving clinical medicine, I was encouraged when I read Dr. Reznick’s optimistic, uplifting post. When I then scrolled to the comments and saw the sideways comments from David Behar, I just shook my head. Hopefully most of us who read this agree with Dr. Reznick.

  • DavidBehar

    Janice and Steve: Personal remarks are what remains for the left. The facts abandoned it 100 years ago. Do you have any other arguments besides personal attack?