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Medicine, literature, and humanity at the Graduation Day of Medicine and Surgery

10 luglio 2023

Medicine, literature, and humanity at the Graduation Day of Medicine and Surgery

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'It is such an honour for me to be speaking at Cattolica to budding doctors on the cusp of their journey. Being in Rome with its profound sense of history leads me to convey a message that embraces the earthshaking new advances in medicine while never forgetting what is unchanged since antiquity' so began Abraham Verghese, Professor of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and author of numerous books, translated worldwide, who on Friday, 7 July, at the Rome campus of the University, gave the Commencement Speech of Graduation Day, the ceremony for graduates of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery's Programme in Medicine and Surgery.

41 students were proclaimed new doctors in Medicine and Surgery, the integrated degree programme active at the Rome campus of Università Cattolica since the 2013-2014 academic year and held entirely in English. More than 200 people have graduated since the first year of the programme, which has seen the participation of students from over 60 countries around the world, and from 5 continents.

The ceremony was opened by the institutional greetings of the Pro-rector of Università Cattolica, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Antonio Gasbarrini.


Federica Mancinelli

Federica Mancinelli

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'The activation of the degree programme in Medicine and Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine of Università Cattolica,' said Professor Cocconcelli, 'has proved to be a successful strategic choice. In just a few years, this degree programme has acquired an excellent international reputation, as demonstrated by the applications for the admission test from over 60 countries and five continents.  This success, which is due to the quality of university education and research at our Faculty of Medicine, underlines the relevance of the process of internationalisation of universities to prepare the next generation of doctors’.

‘This is a great day for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and for our university community,' said Professor Gasbarrini in his greetings. 'It is an important day above all for our new graduates, now young doctors from all over the world, who are now also 'ambassadors' of the values, knowledge and training that our University shares every day and which it tries to pass on to all students.

‘It is truly a privilege to have Professor Verghese as speaker of the Commencement Speech of this ceremony today. The trajectory of his life, his professional training, and his reputation as a clinician and educator contribute to create a role model that I hope the graduates of the Class of 2023 will be able to draw inspiration from, to reaffirm the importance of medicine at the bedside of the sick, in a unique and uniquely valuable doctor-patient relationship. The fact that he combines his work as a doctor and lecturer with the skills of a populariser and writer capable of meeting millions of readers around the world, serves as a reminder to recent graduates and to all of us, to explore and nurture all the talents and skills we are given to contribute to the development of a richer and more supportive humanity' the Dean of the Degree Programme in Medicine and Surgery ,Giovanni Gambassi, said  in his salutation message to  graduating students.

Starting from this year, the Class of 2023 inaugurates a new tradition: a special award to two graduates who have distinguished themselves for their charisma, personality and academic merit.  The first to the graduating student who has generously donated her time and talents at the service of her classmates and has been a role model for effective leadership and professional behaviour during her six years of study: the newly graduated doctor Isabella Azzaro.

The second honourable mention, and Valedictorian of the graduation ceremony, to the graduating student who has best demonstrated the qualities of academic and clinical excellence and whose exceptional motivation and interest exemplify the ideals of professionalism: the newly graduated doctor Marco Auletta.

'Our sacred tradition goes back to Padua and giants like Vesalius and goes back even before that, of one individual being cared for, healed, and if possible cured, by another individual who has dedicated their life to such care. That is the timeless aspect of medicine I want the graduates to carry in their hearts and minds as they set forth into the world' Verghese said.

A grand final celebration was held, with a joyous 'throwing of graduation caps', for all the graduates, their families and the entire community of Università Cattolica, which today greets the new young doctors as they begin a new journey.


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