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Vital Signs

Paul Farmer, keynote speaker

Service and ceremony

In June, 158 men and women became members of the first class to graduate from Dartmouth's medical school since it was named in honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel. But while the diplomas may have had a new look, the commitment to service described by the speakers on Class Day is part of a long tradition at Dartmouth and the Medical School. The keynote speaker, Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., cofounder of Partners in Health, is a model of public service for physicians. He spoke to the graduates about his career and about the challenges and rewards of contributing to social justice through medicine. The student speakers struck similar notes, as they talked about what they and their classmates hope to accomplish in the years to come.


We are not just about to finally have jobs. We are entering a profession that is held to higher moral and ethical standards than most because we will hold our patients' lives in our hands. I know without question that you will do great things in your future because I have already seen you do great things. Although we are going separate ways, the family we built in this class will remain a force. I can't wait to see the wonderful accomplishments you add to our collective resume.

—Mary Kate Rod Hattan, medical student speaker
at the 2012 Class Day ceremony—


You and I have been entrusted with extraordinary privilege—an education from TDI. . . . We have a responsibility to Drs. Wennberg, Fisher, Mulley, and many others. A responsibility to magnify their voices. And to add our own to the chorus. We have a responsibility to apply our degrees to do good—however that calls to us.

—Laura Bozzuto, TDI student speaker—


As we each end this chapter and start our new beginning—whether it be in academic research, teaching, industry, or further schooling—I ask you to remember all we have learned and accomplished. Continue to keep an open mind to all possibilities and ask the simple questions. You never know where that next discovery lies. Remember your commitment and service to others, as well as to science, and you have the tools to not only be leaders in your field, but leaders in this world.

—Valerie Jacobs, graduate student speaker—


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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College