International Physiotherapist Robinson Ramírez Speaks at Physiotherapy Graduation Ceremony
Drs. Albert Balaguer and Caritat Bagur presided over the graduation ceremony for students in the Degree programme in Physiotherapy. Dr. Robinson Ramírez, who is from Colombia, gave the keynote address at the ceremony held on Friday, 27 June 2014.
Dr. Caritat Bagur, the Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, opened the ceremony by congratulating the new graduates. She said, “You deserve the praise you have received for your efforts so far”. She went on to say that she had full confidence in their abilities and that she looked forward to their future contributions. She said, “The profession must always fulfil its commitment to its patients, who are real people”.
After being introduced by Dr. Bagur, Dr. Robinson Ramírez began by thanking the university for inviting him. The focus of his keynote address was the challenge currently facing the profession in the form of non-communicable chronic diseases.
Dr. Ramírez began by asking whether advances had been made in physiotherapy. He said that ancient manuscripts clearly demonstrate how the practice of physiotherapy has moved forward. However, he said, “Modern physiotherapy did not evolve until the First World War”.
Ramírez continued, “Chronic diseases are having a significant impact at all levels of society”. He added, “The more we know about disease, the more we fall ill”. He drew particular attention to the issue of sedentary lifestyles. He said, “The lack of physical activity kills more people than smoking”. This presents physiotherapists with a challenge, according to Dr. Ramírez. He said, “We are experts in the area of movement, which is precisely what is most needed right now”. He added, “Physical exercise is a medicine we can use to prevent a third of the diseases we die from”.
In addition, he maintained, “The issue of sedentary lifestyles and chronic diseases should be addressed in global debates and health agendas and, above all, at universities".
Following presentation of the diplomas and the delegate’s speech on behalf of the graduating class, Dr. Albert Balaguer, the Dean of the Faculty, drew the ceremony to a close by congratulating the graduates and their families. He said, “From the UIC's point of view, graduation signifies the culmination of a process, but your learning process will never end”. Finally, he assured the new alumni that they would always receive a warm welcome from the teaching staff at the UIC.