Home | AdZU SOM Graduation Speech 2019

Speech by Dr Dulce Miravite

Indeed, everything is a grace. Everything is by God’s grace. This remains to be my mantra. Everything I am today is a testimony of God’s faithfulness in my life, in spite of challenges God’s steadfast love will always see me through.

Speaking to you today marks a milestone in my life; and as the school is celebrating its 25th founding anniversary; there are various milestones I share with the school of medicine.

Twenty-five years ago when the medical school was founded, was about the same time that I graduated from grade school. As I was both eager and terrified to enter high school, so as a group of caring and compassionate people courageous enough to start a medical school in the region; not knowing what the future holds but ever with a burning desire to transform the health care service delivery and health outcomes of the city and Region IX.

We will be forever grateful to the founding president Fr. William Kreutz SJ, our founding dean Dr. Fortunato Cristobal, the founding Directors:     

Dr. Milagros Fernandez                 Mrs. Maria Clara Lobregat+
Atty. Arsenio Gonzales Jr               Dr. Jose Maria Lucas+
Mr. Antonio Agustin                       Mr. Ricardo Marmoleno+
Dr. Irineo Cases                               Ms. Teresita Montano
Dr. Rolando Felisilda+                    Dr. Leoncio Noche +
Mr. Benjamin Go                             Dr. Zenaida Tamin
and the founding faculty… thank you!

When I graduated from high school was also about the time that the pioneer class has graduated.

Becoming a doctor is a dream of my childhood and of my parents. I am blessed to be doing well in my studies by God’s grace but the income of my parents was not enough to cover for the expenses for medical school. Hence, as I was nearly graduating from college finding a job was at the top of my priority, but my parents insisted that I pursue medicine and realize the dream for them; so I applied for scholarship and is blessed enough to be granted one.

On 2001 I was a freshman at the Zamboanga Medical School Foundation and on our commencement exercises on 2005, the school of medicine has been under the administration of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, hence ADZU-SOM; Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine.

Our theme: Embracing Social Accountability in Health Professional Education and Training has been lived and exemplified for 25 years by the medical school from the very time it was established. It is a revolutionary health professional education with a premise that education is multifaceted and should not be confined in the classrooms.

It is the very essence when the founders embraced their social accountability for health education that started and sustained the operation of the medical school even with limited resource. It is the very essence that my dream to be a doctor became a reality because a medical school is present in the city with the lowest fees.

It is because benefactors embraced their social accountability to improve the welfare of others that scholarship grants are made available.

Social accountability is embedded in our core curriculum as the community or social strand in our modules taught beginning from first year and is applied into health plans and activities in our community exposures.

Social accountability is knitted in the researches of the undergraduates and the Masters in Public Health; conducting innovative studies and interventions in order to advance health care.

Social accountability is inoculated in our blood ensuring that as alumni it becomes our way of life no matter the setting of our practice.

Our mentors both locally and internationally have embodied these ideals, sharing their time, talent and treasure generously without expecting anything in return.

I have always likened educators to super heroes with super powers; powerful enough to touch multitude of lives that can in turn affect and change the world singlehandedly. Our first teachers are our parents… thank them! It is essential that we show and tell our parents, guardians and loved ones that we love them and care for them while they are still with us. My daddy died before I took my medical board exam and my mama died 3 years after… 

To my teachers, thank you for touching my life positively and together with the core values of Jesuit education I have all I need to efficiently navigate the world of medicine and the world in general.

Working as an emergency room resident on duty (ER-ROD) gave me the opportunity to learn from various specialists, toxic or not… they all imparted learning. One of the insights I treasure from doctors I admire is the imprint doctors leave on their patients. You could be the best doctor coming up with the right diagnosis and the best treatment yet it will not matter. Patients will remember how you made them feel, they will barely remember their diagnosis and their medications but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Our patients are also our greatest teachers. No textbook can refute that.

I have been asked and it crossed my mind a couple of times to get into residency but there is a voice in my head that tells me to stay in public health.

The closest I got to residency training is as an ER ROD. While walking the empty and quiet halls of the hospital at 3 o’clock in the morning, I cannot help but think that there are only 2 of us doctors watching over a hospital full of patients and this realization made me push myself to learn more… for me the only statistics that count is ONE… I would do everything that I can to give the best care for my patients. … it really saddens me to have even one patient die under my watch… and so my prayer is always for God to use me and by His grace help me heal my patients and cheat death… please Lord not under my watch with Your help! I would often check on the charts of patients I have admitted checking if I arrived at the same diagnosis with the attending physician… always challenging myself to be the best version of myself.  

We grow where God plants us. I have been blessed to be given the same opportunity as my mentors to teach in the medical school and I hope that I have inspired passion and compassion to you… the graduating class whose lives I have been part of. May you be the best version of yourself and achieve your full potential.

As you have shown your efforts to address the current dengue situation in the city, organizing a community wide plan in 3 barangays given a very limited time… you have embraced your social accountability, truly now it runs in the blood. I give you my thanks and I am proud of all of you!

As the year 2019 marks a significant celebration for the school of medicine, it also marks an equally significant event in my life. As I fully embrace the responsibilities given to me to serve in the local government I have to have an experiential sense of God, a well-founded sense of self, a shared sense of people and a critical sense of the world.

We have to have that inner sense of realization that God loves us without condition and we abound by His grace.

We have to accept our personal gifts and talents as well as our weaknesses.

We have to look at the people around us. We all affect each other. Each one can participate and be part of the solution.

We have to have a critical sense of the world. It is absolutely wrong to lie, cheat or steal. As you grow older, and enter the workforce, you will be tempted by the system to think in relative terms. We have to preserve and obey the absolutes as much as we can. If you never lie, cheat or steal, you will never have to remember who you lied to, how you cheated and what you stole. 

All graduations must come to the most important one: the graduation where the diploma of your life will be given to you. It is the summing up of all your accountability, you will be measured not with your accumulated material symbols, not by the number of degrees you have, not with the position of power and popularity you have attained, not even by the number of letters that come after your name… you will be evaluated by how you have developed the one being entrusted to you: yourself and how you have shared yourself and made yourself accountable for others.

May we be rewarded with a passing mark for a life well-lived because we have remained in God’s love and grace to be in humble service for others.

Congratulations to the graduating class! Most especially congratulations to the proud parents and guardians!