I am often asked what is the most important quality in medical students. What is it that makes them exceptional? Is it their sharp intellect, their motivation to improve, or their dedication to patients and serving humanity? This question lies at the heart of what is medicine and what it means to be a physician.
In today’s medical industrial complex, a physician can take many forms and roles. A physician can focus his or her time on drug development and research and never actually see a patient. A physician could also choose to be an educator or to be a healthcare administrator focusing on health care systems and economics. Perhaps the most common are those that choose to devote their entire existence to patient care. All of these are critical tasks for physicians in our society. As a medical school, how can we possibly prepare our students for all of these important yet vastly different roles?
The answer, I believe, lies in basics and simplicity. We educate students to be careGIVERS. It’s just that simple. Of course, there are pages and pages of facts and skills to be learned, but that is the technical information for which a computer and a few questions banks would suffice. We have chosen to focus instead on the core values of learning to give. It would seem elementary, but this is a skill that can take a lifetime to master. How does a 20+-year-old highly educated and focused graduate student learn to put their ego aside and focus on the 5-year-old that needs their attention? This is the art of medicine. To see every patient as an opportunity to give is the motto that we strive for at Sackler.
A student who learns to be a giver with patients will be an outstanding researcher who understands not only to work in a team but understands the importance of writing and publishing their work to give to the medical community. The same is true for the health care administrator who looks to his task in managing the system in the best interest of the clients and patients rather than but not in spite of the bottom line.
It is with great pleasure that we are able to once again congratulate the student run staff of SJM on their second and very impressive issue. This amazing project of SJM exemplifies the spirit and attitude of giving so important to the Sackler experience. We, in the administration, are proud to have this as an important part of the Sackler family.
Wishing everyone a healthy and successful year of giving in medicine!