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School of Medicine Commencement 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014 11a.m. ET

Commencement 2014 Med Oath

Graduates recite the Hippocratic Oath during the School of Medicine comment ceremony at Warner Theatre.

May 18, 2014 — Dr. George Thibault (C’65) welcomed the 198 graduates of Georgetown’s School of Medicine to “this noble profession” at their commencement ceremony today in Warner Theatre.

 “You have been taught to listen to your patients, to elicit and understand their preferences and to address their personal needs and those of their families and communities in which they live,” said Thibault, president of Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. “You will give them the personal touch, the caring and the intimacy that technology and science cannot replace. You will do this because you have been educated at Georgetown, in the Jesuit tradition that cares for both the body and the soul.”

Thibault, who received an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the ceremony, talked about his father, who often served as the only doctor within a 10- to 15-mile radius in a small town in upstate New York.

“Dad never turned anyone away,” he said. “Patients were charged on a sliding scale. I still have some of his billing cards, and many bills were zero … we were never wealthy but compared with the rest of the town we were comfortable. I never felt my father worried about the business side of medicine.” 

He said that his father, who died during Thibault’s freshman year at Georgetown, would have welcomed all the technological advances in the past 50 years ago, but that patients today “…still want someone who knows them, someone who listens to them, someone who cares…” 

One of the nearly 200 graduates, Jenny Van Kirk (M’14) will go on to practice internal medicine at Duke University.

“As I move on to my future training, I'll always credit Georgetown for shaping me, not only as a physician, but as a person,” she said. “Going forward, I intend to practice medicine in the spirit of cura personalis (care of the whole person) with an emphasis on the patient and their needs on all levels. Although I will likely have many different training experiences at various institutions in the future, I will always be a Georgetown doctor.”

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