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The Prime Minister of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Hon. Brigadier Mark Antony Philips addressed the 8th Graduation Ceremony of Texila American University on 14th May 2021 as the chief guest. While congratulating the Graduates, the Prime Minister noted that there is a common denominator among the specialties chosen by the Graduates in medicine, nursing, and public health, which is the art and science of caring. Check out the highlights of the remarkable speech below.
“I am honored to address this extraordinary pool of medical students and wish to firstly convey my sincerest congratulations to you on your accomplishments. You are now qualified medical professionals, having endured endless hours of hard work, trials, apprehension, anxiety, and weariness, now charged with entering a brave new world at the beginning of what I expect will be long and successful careers. The world we live in present exciting and challenging experiences for medical professionals and is how you choose to address these challenges throughout your career that will determine your future in the profession.
Over the past year, the world has had no choice but to adapt to the new normal brought on by the Novel Corona Virus. In addition to the disruptive changes it had had on every aspect of our existence, medical professionals have faced the additional burden of having to face this virus on the front line, placing their lives at risk every day and showcasing their valiant efforts to battle an adversary that seems determined to break us. But we have endured thus far, though not without great loss.
Yet, this fresh batch of 115 new professionals bravely entering this field shows our resilience as human beings; it shows your commitment to preserving good health and human life. It makes me immensely proud that I am part of the process of ushering you unto that path. When you consider the specialties you have chosen to pursue, medicine, nursing, and public health, there is a common denominator among them the art and science of caring.
Through your studies, you have been exposed to immense knowledge and caring skills and your technical skills. Our country and the world can reap the benefits of it. However, it should be noted that to care for your patients and clients truly, you must first learn to care for yourself, a practice that becomes ever more necessary in today’s world. You will be challenged with long hours, burdensome work, and huge responsibilities. And if you leave your diligence unchecked, it can lead to burnout and stress. I urge you, therefore, to always pay attention to your mental health and well-being. Balance your work and your life efficiently, and never be afraid to admit that your workload may be too much.
As medical practitioners, you will always be expected to be diligent, professional, and efficient. Taking care of yourself is the first step in ensuring that you achieve these goals every step of the way. Patient Care will also require other skills that will be worthy of daily practice in your profession. Learn to listen, as when you listen, there is much to learn. Be the medical professional and exhibit trust, confidentiality, and honesty at all times. Your patients look to you in times of fear and anxiety, and you need to offer them the best answers you can give to the situations. But above all, understand that winning at your work calls for leadership, see yourselves as leaders, look to persons who can mentor you in becoming the type of good leaders you want to be. Good leaders can make the best advocacy and care for their patients. Think of ways to make your leadership transformative in your profession. Make changes in your colleagues’ and patients’ lives, and even in your environment, so that you can create lasting marks even after your journey has ended. As your journey now begins, however, we must be prepared for the real world. Our well wishes to you and our abstract encouragement serve as motivations. Still, it will be your ability to face the tuff realities of your job that will keep you afloat.
There is a saying, and I quote, “medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability,” This means that your work will require you to take the risk and live among chances. The results will seldom be definite, but you will be backed by knowledge and skills that will equip you to be your best in the end regardless of the harsh realities you must therefore always be sure of yourself and the fact that you have given 100% to every situation that lands before you. But let not the reality be a downer of this shining moment.
Guyana and the wider world stand ever more equipped with this new batch of medical professions. You have been tested academically, socially, mentally, and physically on your way to this moment. Now you are ready to make your mark in the world, remember to always find purpose in what you do, for purpose is the defeater of doubt and the bringer of happiness. The purpose will keep you motivated in times of doubt and trials as you venture into this world.
Remember your support system and all those who helped you directly and indirectly in getting to this point. Your family, your teachers, your colleagues, your friends, your partners, just as they helped you to get here, they too shall server as an important means of getting through hard days in the future. You now set out on individual paths, and I urge you to continue to seek knowledge and build on your skill and character with honor and discipline and that you honor and uphold the tenet of your Hippocratic Oath by operating with the highest ethical standard of your profession acting with warmth, sympathy, and understanding. Cherish the growth you have achieved throughout your journey and anticipate the growth you’re about to experience in the coming years.
I wish you the best of luck, and Guyana thanks you in advance for your dedication to a life of service to the people of our world. Congratulations!”