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Gold Humanism Society has 13 new inductees

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August 2017

Some medical students are better at the science of medicine than the art of compassionate care. Some are the other way around. But a handful of students excel at both. This month, 13 members of the Class of 2018 were officially placed in the “both” category when they were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

The new fourth-year inductees were Arnold Abud; Benjamin Appelo; Kirsten Dowling; Clayton Fuqua; Juno Lee, who received a standing ovation for his emotional speech; Kristin Magrini; Sangeeta Nair-Collins (not present for the photo); Tatianna Pizzutto; Jeffrey Reese; Brittany Schafer; Stephanie Tran; Drew Williams; and Savannah Williams.

Their induction was part of the annual White Coat Ceremony welcoming first-year students into the profession.

“We do this intentionally at your White Coat Ceremony,” Dean John P. Fogarty told the first-year students, “to ... demonstrate to you, our freshman class, that becoming doctors is not just about book knowledge but also about the professional behaviors, attitudes and attributes embodied in these students. We frequently think of these honorees as future ‘doctors’ doctors,’ the highest praise you can imagine: to be asked by a colleague to be their personal physician.”

Most U.S. medical schools have adopted a more patient-centered approach to medicine, rather than disease-centered or doctor-centered, said Daniel Van Durme, associate dean for clinical and community affairs, as well as faculty co-advisor for the Chapman Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

“Humanism takes it even further,” Van Durme said. “Humanism includes attributes such as compassion, service to others, integrity and respect. Humanism, if you will, is the anti-‘House,’ for those of you who have watched that show.” (For those who haven’t watched it: The main character in “House” is an extraordinarily ill-tempered physician.)

Chosen by his fellow inductees to impart a message to the new students, Juno Lee advised them to listen, learn and grow.

“Of course, you listen for (patients’) symptoms and allergies and current medications and heart sounds,” Lee said. “But listen for that mention that the bus stop is 4 miles away. That the boyfriend scares her. That the chemotherapy is getting too tough.”

Lee described the College of Medicine as a “beautiful community of classmates, faculty, support staff and friends.” He experienced the warmth of that community firsthand just a month earlier, he said, when his father died. As he spoke, his words grew shaky, he paused a moment, then he concluded his address with a firm voice. Instantly, the audience and everyone onstage rose to give him a standing ovation, and he was briefly overcome by emotion. Fogarty thanked Lee for demonstrating the vulnerability of a compassionate physician.

The white coats for the Class of 2021 were donated by the FSU Chapman Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, supported by the Jules B. Chapman, M.D., and Annie Lou Chapman Foundation.

To watch the White Coat Ceremony, visit For best results, use Windows Explorer. Juno Lee’s speech begins at 00:20:39.

Listen, learn and grow. Class of 2021, you will have thousands of teachers in the years to come. Your teachers will not look like your traditional professors pointing at the Henderson-Hasselbach equation with a “Why don’t you understand this” face. Your teacher will be the first newborn you deliver. The woman with metastatic breast cancer with three children. The man working three jobs who does not have time to get dialysis and now needs a new kidney. Your teacher will be the child who coughed in your mouth because you were trying to examine their tonsils and now you’re sick and the pediatric shelf exam is in four days and you can’t think or open up this soup can, and now you’re wondering, “Why did I even have my mouth open?”

Every patient has a story. Listen carefully. Of course, you listen for their symptoms and allergies and current medications and heart sounds. But listen for that mention that the bus stop is 4 miles away. That the boyfriend scares her. That the chemotherapy is getting too tough. Humanistic medicine extends further than the correct diagnosis and a prescription written. Seek the reason why a patient is “noncompliant.” Not everyone can afford the $15 co-pay. Maybe they can’t read the instructions because they are illiterate or their glasses broke. Maybe their brother died while on the medicine. Maybe the side effects of the meds are worse than the disease.

Learn from all the aspects of the human experience as you practice the art of medicine. Learn from the visceral sweats when you perform CPR the first time. From the spiritual hands for when your patient wants you to pray with her. Learn from the frustration of having insurance deny care to one of your favorite patients. You are joining a profession that deals with conversations not seen anywhere else. How do you tell a 13-year-old that she has HIV? What emotions go through a patient who has to decide between cancer-removing laryngectomy versus keeping the ability to talk? Learn from your attendings and your patients. What was the tone of the conversation, how quickly did the words come out, what was the reaction in the room?

Grow with your family, friends, peers and faculty. To the families and friends gathered here, thank you for supporting these soon-to-be-white-coated students, and congratulations. They will continue to need your love and encouragement for the years to come. There will be times of academic and personal hardship that we all need help with, as well as joyous occasions like today that we will like to share with you. At the FSU College of Medicine, we all grow together. My brother and I lost our father a little more than a month ago, and this beautiful community of classmates, faculty, support staff and friends came together to help us through. Consider this school your extended family. Offer your hand to those struggling. Ask for a guiding light when life gets dark.

Congratulations, Class of 2021, on the first steps of your exciting journey. Keep your loved ones, peers and patients close to your heart as you listen, learn and grow.