Second Graduating Class of the UIC Barcelona Medicine Programme

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On Saturday, 4 July 2015, the graduation ceremony of the second graduating class of students in the Degree in Medicine Programme was held in the main lecture hall. The ceremony was presided over by Boi Ruiz, the Catalan Minister of Health, and by Dr. Albert Balaguer, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. This year's keynote speaker was Dr. Mariana Castells, a professor at Harvard Medical School who specializes in allergies and immunology. The topic of her address was social responsibility in medicine.

Second Graduating Class of the UIC Barcelona Medicine Programme

The first speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Marta Elorduy, the Assistant Dean of Medicine, who congratulated the new graduates, but also reminded them that they have to keep working to be worthy of the new qualification they have earned. She also said that being a doctor involves great social responsibility.

In her keynote address, Dr. Castells offered a graphic and encouraging reflection on how medicine should be practised with the goal of healing, but also doing research to be able to continue healing. She told the new graduates that the profession they are joining is a direct legacy of great doctors in history, such as Averroës, the first immunologist, and Spanish Nobel Prize winner Santiago Ramón y Cajal. But she did not overlook the humanistic side, which is so necessary for those who practise medicine. She said, “Now you'll be able to save patients' lives or at least improve the quality of their lives. Your patients deserve respect and compassion. Don't forget that we have all been or will be patients.”

After the diplomas were handed out, the new doctors took the Hippocratic Oath under the supervision of Dr. José Zorrilla and four graduates then spoke in representation of the graduating class. They thanked the Faculty of Medicine and the UIC Barcelona for the knowledge and learning methods they had acquired, the warmth and support of teachers and classmates, and the friendships they had made.

On behalf of the Faculty, the Dean warmly congratulated the graduates and warned them by saying, “You have chosen the best profession, but it's not going to be easy. You will have to take the MIR residency exam, but the hardest thing is the privilege of serving. You'll be treating the pain of suffering bodies and you'll have to be ready both scientifically and humanely.” He concluded by encouraging them to “make their own contribution to science” while always taking a patient-oriented approach.

The last speaker, Boi Ruiz, the Catalan Minister of Health, said, “Today is not an end, but the beginning of everything. You begin in certainly one of the most noble and difficult professions”. He also thanked the graduates on behalf of society for choosing a professional career whose aim is to care for others. He encouraged them to practise the profession based on hard work, generosity and honesty, and to always put the patient's interests before any other.