Selected Speeches

Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society Induction

March 8, 2018
Davidge Hall

I’m so happy to join you this evening and to congratulate all of the newest members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Your cause is certainly one close to my own heart.

If you’ve heard me speak during your careers at UMB, you’ve likely heard me speak to the power of nice: the power that comes from connecting with your patients and your peers, the power that comes from mutual respect and mutual trust, the power of empathic—and energetic—listening, the power of compassion and collaboration.

I use the word “power” on purpose. Because we know that there are bottom-line reasons for adopting a humanistic model of care. We know it makes the quality of the care we deliver better. It makes patients more likely to follow our treatment plans. It reduces medical errors and brings down medical costs.

But, at its core, I think humanism is the reason that all of us in this room pursued medicine in the first place. We have something to offer—our knowledge, our skill, our talent, yes. But we have, as well, the humanity that comforts us and connects us.

We have the capacity to care for others as we would like to be cared for ourselves. We have the ability bring patients more fully into their treatment and to assemble around them a team of people invested in their health, but also—more globally—invested in their well-being, their welfare.

Our most fundamental interest is not the disease, the condition, the injury, but the person who entrusts us with her care. This is the vision of medicine that I carried with me as I began my own career. And to see this vision borne out here today, among the next generation of physicians, is deeply gratifying to me.

I thank you all for your commitment to humanism. I thank you for carrying this torch in your practice, in your collaboration with others, and in your advocacy. Congratulations!

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