Dean’s graduation speech for the graduates
of the academic year 2019/2020
Dear graduates, the students of yesterday, the doctors of today, Doctors of General Medicine and Dentistry,
The day of the graduation ceremony is one of the most important days in the life of a doctor. This ceremony is essential for your relatives as well. This day is often even more important for parents and grandparents than for the graduates themselves.
Your dear ones think of the help they offered to you during your six-year-long studies and with proud expect your bright professional future. You are also full of expectations about your future career. However, you are aware of the responsibility which you bear as doctors as well. You convinced us about your responsible approach to your future patients with the approach you worked with the patients with confirmed coronavirus infection or when COVID-19 was suspected. The Board of the Faculty of Medicine and I appreciated your exemplary help many times. The moral readiness of the medical faculties’ graduates is tested during the first months and years of practice in medicine. Many young people mature faster when exposed to the moments difficult for society. That also happened to you. I am proud you convinced us about your readiness, and I would like to thank you once again.
I look forward to the graduation ceremony every year to see your happy faces which are full of expectation and determination. I enjoy giving a graduation speech. Unfortunately, the current epidemiological situation does not allow us to hold the graduation ceremony. Only the administrative act of receiving your diplomas, which allows you to meet your patients who are already expecting you, is being held. During these difficult times, the Board of the Faculty and our teaching staff made an incredible effort to allow you to finish your studies on time and to treat your patients as soon as possible. I want to express my gratitude to our teachers for their extraordinary effort.
During the graduation ceremony, I ask our graduates to accomplish their duties as good as possible and add a few pieces of advice that should help them with the medical profession and with making our Faculty and University proud. In my soul, I still hope we will be able to hold the graduation ceremony additionally. An integral part of receiving your diplomas is signing the Graduation Promise, which is held this year for the first time. I hope the epidemiological situation will allow us to hold the graduation ceremony later when you will take the Oath traditionally. I want to talk to you personally, emphasize the importance of the whole life education and highlight that you need to treat your patients not only professionally, but also with empathy and the understanding for the concerns the patients have about their health and often even about their lives. Receiving the faith of our patients is the basics of success in our profession.
Prof. MUDr. Juraj Šteňo, DrSc., IFAANS
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava
Bratislava, 14. July 2020