Graduation Ceremony - 26/8/2016

    1030 HRS. ON 26TH AUGUST 2016

Dr. M.K.C Nair, Vice Chancellor,Kerala University of Health
Dr. A.S. Kiran Kumar, Secretary, Department of Space &
                                                                         ISRO Chairman,
Dr. Thomas Mathew, Principal, Medical College
Dr. Sharmad, Dr. K.V. Viswanathan, Dr. Sreenath,
Respected Professors, Teachers, Staff Members, Parents and my dear Students,
Sahodaree Sahodaranmaare,
Ellaavarkkum Ente Namaskaaram,   

    I am delighted to address you all as the Chief Guest       at the Graduation Ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee  batch of doctors at the Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. As the first medical college of the State, this institution has established itself as the benchmark of quality in medical education not only in Kerala but also at a national level.  To be educated in such an institution is a privilege that only a select few would get and therefore,         I would  consider all the 200 young, new doctors sitting here as among the brightest and luckiest  in the State.
    It is a matter of pride that the Government Medical College has always upheld a tradition of expertise and dedication in its services. The College had been growing steadily since its inception in 1951.  I am happy to note it has now expanded in such a way as to accommodate five fully interconnected hospitals, four medical and para-medical colleges, 42 departments and nine super specialty departments.  Above all, it trains 2500 bright medical students who would offer their services to the people of this country.   The credit for maintaining the highest standards in medical education and training goes to hundreds of teachers, past and present, who have served this institution. Let me, on this happy occasion, pay my respect to all of them.
      We had all seen how this Medical College Hospital had risen to the occasion during the Puttingal Fireworks tragedy, when hundreds of people had to be rushed in for emergency treatment. It was a proud moment for all of us when the experts in the Central Medical Team from Delhi openly acknowledged and hailed the dedication and expertise shown by the doctors and para-medical staff in handling emergencies. All the young doctors who are graduating today can be proud of having been trained in such a hospital.
    Dear Graduands, today is a very important day in your  life.  Long years of study and hard work find a fruitful culmination on this day. Your parents would also be sharing your joy and pride. Some of you may be relieved from the ordeal of examinations, marks and grades. But, the completion of the course and the possession of a medical degree mark only the beginning of a new life.   Let me assure you, the real examinations are only beginning. Those tests may come from different areas like society in general, the professional scene or from the technical world. The real examination of efficiency is in comfortably coping with the challenges that emerge from all these spheres and at the same time, remaining ethically perfect.
    Being a doctor is the most widely heard ambition in society. But, the majority of youngsters are blissfully unaware of the challenging and tedious life of a doctor. Today, Kerala is a major supplier of doctors and nurses to the developed countries of the world. I have been told that though over 10,000 doctors are working in Kerala, we are still running short of doctors in many of our public health outfits. It is true that the working atmosphere in the Government hospitals are not always to our liking, but let us not forget that those hospitals are the only hope to the majority of our people. Such hospitals provide the platform for translating your acquired knowledge into practice.  The large number of ordinary patients whom you would serve in such places will be silently and indirectly fine-tuning your skill as a doctor.
    Therefore, for a medical practitioner, a patient should appear not as a mere customer, but as a cross section of the society we live in. A medical condition will not be just an ailment, but a social issue that needs urgent medical and social intervention.  This calls for a larger social vision on the part of a doctor.  If you develop this vision, you would automatically develop the attitude to respond to the complaints and angry reactions of patients with better understanding.
     With modern science and medicine developing at an unpredictable speed, keeping pace with the new developments has become a major challenge. The range of ethical issues has also widened so much that every technological leap tends to have an ethical issue hidden behind it.  Those in the medical profession have to be doubly cautious in dealing with situations that may pose ethical issues. I hope that a strict adherence to the ethical practices would be your top priority.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002 sets the professional standards for medical practice.  I request the doctors’ community to follow the standards prescribed in the Regulations.  Apart from the Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002, there are special legislations which assigns specific duties of medical practitioners, for instance, Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 prohibits the determination and disclosure of sex of the foetus and prescribes criminal punishment for contravention.  Thus the medical practitioners owe a professional duty not to disclose the gender of the unborn baby to the parents and their relatives.  Likewise, the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 provides for education, employment, creation of a barrier free environment, social security etc to all disabled persons.  Here again the doctors are mandated to give disability certificate which requires the person with disabilities to provide sensitive and personal information.      
Another important thing the doctors must keep it in their mind that there are no provisions in the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Motor Vehicles Act, which prevents doctors both in government and private hospital promptly attending seriously injured persons in accident cases before the arrival of the police and their completion of legal formalities.  The efforts to save the person should be the top priority not only to the medical professional but also to the police or any other citizen who happens to notice such a situation.
Updating one's skills by acquiring the latest knowledge, with the mindset of an eternal student is what every doctor should do. Here, I would also stress upon the need to have a mind open to other streams of science and medicine. Every civilization has had its own streams of medical practices. Some are active even after centuries. Some are fast developing through research. But, most of these streams refuse to accept each other. It is strange to note that the reluctance to accept each other seems to be the agenda of different streams and philosophies of healing.
    The famous French philosopher Voltaire has said that 'the art of medicine consists of amusing the patient, while Nature cures the disease'.  Modern medicine has advanced a lot and today, the role of the doctor involves responsibilities larger than amusing the patient. Besides treating and healing, today's doctor has the task of convincing the masses through creation of awareness about matters that are even as basic as vaccinations. Success in such responsibilities can be achieved only through hard work and by winning the trust and confidence of society.
    It is this difficult task of winning people's trust that awaits all you new Graduands. I wish you the professional excellence, confidence and above all, a compassionate mind to achieve this goal.

    I compliment the college authorities for organizing this ceremony in a befitting manner. I once again greet everyone present here and wish them success in their chosen fields of activity.
Ellaavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal
Jai Hind