… in the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the most charitable description of what’s been going on at the clubby University of Minnesota medical school would be “bizarre.”
Friday, May 17, 2013
For the Record, Walking the Talk
"We at the University of Minnesota are proud to have researchers willing to take on extremely challenging problems, and to search for answers to tough questions. Sadly, not all of these patients get cured, but hopefully every case gets us closer to that goal.
Mr. Markingson’s suicide was a tragedy, but it is not a scandal. Nine years later, it is time to stop blaming our university and our researchers.
We hope Star Tribune readers won’t allow Elliott’s campaign to cloud reality. Judge the university not on unfounded accusations, but on careful examination of the facts surrounding this case, and on the scale of the groundbreaking advancements taking place across our campuses every day."
Dean Friedman delivered the following speech at the 2013 Medical School commencement ceremony.
You have worked very hard to get here, and you all deserve this moment to pause, to reflect on the experience, and to take pride in what you have learned and what you have accomplished.
Graduating from medical school makes you members of a special group. You have pledged your talents to an important cause and you have shown you have the skill to be entrusted with a vital role in our society.
But what does it mean to be "privileged?"
It's an important question.
I believe your interpretation of this word will go a long way in determining your success as a physician, and defining the satisfaction you derive from your career.
That is one way to look at it. When you are practicing medicine you will bring a skill set to the job that few can match. You will save lives. What could possibly be more important? You may feel your patients are lucky to have you as their doctor.
There are physicians you will encounter in your career that subscribe to this definition.
I remember a time when I was working in the ICU helping a very sick child with multi-organ failure. She could not be moved but needed a procedure to get more vascular access.
This kind of perspective is more common than you might expect. As you set the course of your career, I want to encourage a different perspective on the idea of "privilege."
Early in my career as a physician I had a patient that I first started to see when he was one day old. I got to know his family well. This little boy developed kidney failure and at the age of 5 he needed a biopsy of his transplanted kidney.
As physicians we are allowed into people's lives during their highs and their lows. We get a rare chance to help them through challenges, to share in their joy, to give them hope, and to help them through when things don't go well. Each of these paths allows us an opportunity to make a difference.
at 10:16 PM