2012 BCM Commencement

June 1, 2012

In this time of radical innovation in medicine, it is all the more important to "treat the patient," Dr. Eric Topol, a leader in the field of advancing health care through technology, advised the graduating class of Baylor College of Medicine at the 2012 Commencement ceremony May 22.

"Even though we have this exciting time in medicine – radical innovation – we need doctors with compassion, with empathy and bedside manner who are great communicators, who have healing touch," he told the graduates. "And those qualities will be all the more important in the digital medical era when we need to avoid treating the scan, the DNA, the lab test, and the biosensor data – to treat the patient."

Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, spoke at the commencement ceremony for 203 graduates. Of those, 45 received doctoral degrees and 158 received medical degrees.

At the ceremony, BCM President and CEO Dr. Paul Klotman presented four honorary degrees – to Laura Arnold, co-chair of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation; Morton Hyman, chairman of the board of the Sabin Vaccine Institute; Dr. Jacqueline Barton, chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology; and Topol.

"These honorees were thoughtfully selected to serve as examples for you of the kind of leaders we have prepared you to become," Klotman told the graduates. "Each has achieved phenomenal things in their lives that have enriched their personal and professional communities. Just like you, each of them began their careers with goals and dreams and turned them into reality."

Klotman spoke to the graduates about their preparation to be leaders in science and medicine.

"You will be responsible for improving the lives of your fellow man and advancing the scientific knowledge of our world," he said. "Few careers offer such absolute certainty of purpose. You will have the privilege of knowing that each and every day you are doing something worthwhile and important for society. Our world needs leaders like you who will embrace a future filled with opportunities and tackle challenges in medicine and science."

Also at the ceremony, Ashley Ramirez-Herrick spoke as a representative of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Amy Pearlman spoke on behalf of the medical school graduates.

Students were treated to a graduation luncheon the day before commencement, where a number of awards were presented. Earlier in May, faculty were also honored with the Outstanding Educator Awards. Student and faculty award winners can be found in the graduation program flip book. View a video from the commencement ceremony.