‘Sense of pride’ at final convocation
Class valedictorian Andrew Appleton
In her 11th and final medical convocation as dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Carol Herbert admitted to a special bond with the 2010 graduating class.
“While I don’t know exactly what my future will bring, like you, I do look forward to creating my future,” Herbert told the graduating class of 139 new physicians. “I know that I will take with me, as one of my most cherished memories, the students. You have truly earned the right to be called doctors.”
As the students begin their residency, a lifetime of opportunities lies ahead as they become the champions and stewards of health care in Canada.
“These roles carry with them enormous rewards and responsibilities. You will be called upon to be lifelong learners,” said Herbert. “You will also be leaders within your community in social and health issues to provoke positive change.”
One student ready to make a difference is Andrew Appleton. As class valedictorian, he told fellow graduates it is “a time to be proud and revel in our accomplishments” and graduation is just one of many meaningful days in their lives.
“We are entering medicine at an interesting time in history,” said Appleton. “We have a health care system that needs improvement; we have constant concerns about the health of our planet; we have people in this world who want to take away the freedom which our ancestors fought; and we have an apparent dearth of leadership to address those issues.”
Being a physician comes with influence and he said his classmates will not only have the privilege of helping to heal members of society, but the privilege of helping society itself.
“We will make changes in people’s lives, and whether it’s small or large may be up to you,” said Appleton. “In keeping with this, we should always ask ourselves for whom are we working. And the answer should not be for our own personal gain.”
Stepping down as dean at the end of June, Herbert said convocation has always been a high point for her at Western.
“I can’t help but feel a sense of pride, looking at these young people as they join this wonderful profession,” she said. “It has been an honour to be involved in training so many physicians during my tenure as dean.”