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Stay humble, stay passionate, don't mind the grades

Dr. Leonard Pascual, my professor in neuroanatomy, delivered the keynote during the UP College of Medicine Students Convocation. An excerpt:

Lastly, we must always remember to be humble. It is easy to get carried away and think we know more and feel superior to other people, including colleagues and co-workers in the College of Medicine and in the Hospital. We do not know everything. The moment we think we know it all, we stop learning.

We were all once medical students. We all crawled our way from our first days in Anatomy. We all slaved away as clerks and interns in the hospital. Look at these grades. They do not make me feel small, nor do they define who I am. I display them proudly as I would any medal. This is where I came from. I would like to thank the Department of Anatomy for accepting me into their fold despite my not-so-stellar grades in Anatomy. It’s too late to kick me out now, I have a permanent appointment, I have tenure.

I did not look back on my transcript of records when I applied for residency in Adult Neurology. I knew what I could see myself doing in the future, dealing with life and death situations, solving difficult medical mysteries. If I could go on and be where I could be now, so can you. You will all surpass me in the future. I am comfortable knowing that I may sometimes be more up to date than those who are my senior, just as I appreciate and admire that my students know more than me. I am happy with that. It’s for the good of our patients.

Just remember to keep grounded. With all your achievements, remember to be humble, be compassionate as you pursue your passion, and know that being resilient will get you to wherever you may want to go.

For someone who did not get the highest grades in class and who had to take the finals in Anatomy, this speech resonates with me. Thank you, Sir Leonard.

Read the entire speech here.


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