Thoughts to EM Graduates 2016 – Dr. Goldfrank

On Monday, June 20th, Dr. Goldfrank delivered his graduation remarks to the 22nd graduating class from the NYU/Bellevue EM Residency program. As graduation always is, it was an emotional night. Dr. Goldfrank’s words resonated deeply with all of the residents and their families. Below are his thoughts:
I learned that

We would not eliminate infection with novel antibiotics, but immunizations were remarkably effective

We would not save most people who had cardiac arrests from heart disease or trauma—but that the treatment of hypertension, the use of seat belts and airbags and gun control could

We could train great teams of health care providers

We could create a system where each resident and student was contemporaneously supervised 24 hours a day

A place where I could teach and care for all—each person as a VIP

I had a dream that we could create an environment where each patient could believe that in her/his worst moments there would be an excellent and compassionate team ready to help

I have a dream that we can prevent most health problems—that if the world were good through a universal health care system there would be no need for emergency departments

And awaiting that day I have stayed in a public hospital emergency department treating those in need!

And finding solutions for unsolved problems

And finding collaborators from all domains to improve the human condition

I believe that

Your skills will permit you to enter the room and approach any patient with assuredness

You have become devoted listeners

You have created trusting relationships with your patients and coworkers. 

Your compassion will permit the establishment of trust

You will create true dialogues with your patients

Your honest communication with human beings will allow you to collect the evidence

Your intellectual rigor will allow you to make thoughtful informed decisions

Some say that we do not spend enough time with our patients. I say that we are deeply devoted to our patients and their community. I believe that you represent a new type of emergency physician

Part anthropologist and public health worker studying the new immigrant, the disenfranchised and the acutely ill and injured.

I am proud of your devotion to learning, listening and teaching

Your services to your patients,

your department, and

your community have been wonderful.

Your initiative,

your creativity,

your optimism, and

your commitment to excellence have been inspiring.

I look forward to learning how you will make a difference
You are the best leaders and you must create the best teams.

The demands of leadership—the responsibility—will make you better people and leaders.

We appreciate your devotion to these tasks.

Invest your energy in change

Help solve the critical problems

We expect excellence from you

We expect you to make the world a better place

It is my expectation that having shared the indelible experiences of caring for those in need from every part of our global society, your idealism will continue to inspire you to assure that we create an honorable system of universal healthcare. 

I know that you will continue to succeed and set exceptional standards for patient care, service, education and research.

It has been my great pleasure to work with you.

Thank you.
 Lewis Goldfrank, MD

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by Lewis Goldfrank, MD


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