Trinity School of Medicine Celebrates the June 2023 Commencement Ceremony

Trinity Medical School 2023 Commencement

Trinity School of Medicine recently held its commencement ceremony for the June 2023 graduating class. The new doctors, parents, relatives, friends, and other well-wishers gathered to celebrate this important day at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Presiding over the event was Trinity’s Dean and Provost Dr. John P. Geisler with guest speaker Dr. Philip N. Eskew, Jr., the Clinical Professor Emeritus at Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

After the national anthems and the invocation led by Dr. Daniel P. Eller, Dr. Geisler, Trinity’s Dean and Provost, shared the significance of commencement, saying “This day marks a celebration of years of hard work and dedication to learning the science and art of medicine.” Dr. Geisler continued by thanking the faculty and staff for making the ceremony possible and introduced the commencement speaker, Dr. Philip N. Eskew.

Dr. Eskew stepped up to the podium and commented on the inspiration that led the graduates to reach this moment, saying “Each of us came into this profession because of a calling, because of a person, because of a need to care for others, because of the thrill of being involved in the various areas of medicine and surgery research, and because of a teacher who encouraged you to consider medicine as your path in life.” He then shared the following nine crucial rules that he has followed throughout his career in hopes to challenge and better prepare the new doctors in their careers. 



9 Rules for New Doctors from Dr. Philip N. Eskew

Rule #1: Caring is our way of patient care. Our patients do not care how much we know, they want to know how much we care. Caring comes from the heart. We must care about our patients, care about our actions, care about our fellow workers, care about our knowledge and abilities, and care about our hospital, our office, or wherever your practice takes you. 

Rule #2: Get a mentor and be a mentor. When you think of a mentor, you may recall a family doctor in your town who inspired you to go into the practice of medicine. The term mentor means wise and trusted counselor or the offering of one-on-one wisdom and knowledge. Mentoring is the process of seeking guidance from someone who has experience, perspective, and compassion. Meet with your mentor on a regular basis to establish a good relationship. Be a good listener and do not betray confidence. Share your feelings, give your frustrations an outlet. Someone will be watching you and learning from you. Be a mentor to a new physician. Teach them your way of caring. Teach them how to care from the heart. 

Rule #3: Never stop learning. Never stop asking questions. And never forget that medicine is an art as well as a science, practiced by doctors and researchers who bring not only technology and training, but also their humanity, caring, and compassion. To be successful physicians, you should adhere to a simple time-honored code of conduct. You must commit yourself to a lifetime of self-directed learning. You must strive to be thoughtful, kind, and sensitive. You must avoid arrogance and negativism. You must be honest, moral, tolerant, trustworthy, and above all else, humble and compassionate.

Rule #4: Careful listening and observation makes for good soul-satisfying medicine. Ask open-ended questions, listen to your patient and allow them to tell their story. A mother will always tell you what is wrong with her child. We learn the most by listening to our colleagues and our patients, not by talking. Sometimes the best medicine is no medicine at all, but rather a soft shoulder, a kind and compassionate heart, and a receptive ear. 

Rule #5: Take care of yourself first. Too many doctors neglect their own well-being. Pay attention to your physical and emotional needs. If you have really been tough on yourself, you may need to start with the basics. Get enough sleep and eat right, protect your time alone with friends and family, and keep your family at the top of your priority. Do not bury yourself in your work. 

Rule #6: Learn to say no. Many doctors are workaholics, bogged down by superhuman self-expectations. Come to terms with your personal limits and set a realistic schedule that includes short breaks and ample time to prepare for each patient. Limit your on-call, evening, and weekend work. Take vacations. 

Rule #7: Humility. Be skilled, be learned, be aware of the dignity of your calling. You are entering a special place in our society. People will be awed by your expertise. You’ll be placed in a position of privilege. You’ll live well. People will refer to you, call you by your title, and it may be hard to remember that the word doctor is actually not your first name. I ask of you to possess your skills, but to not be possessed by them. You are entering a very selective group. You have a monopoly on medical care. Please be careful not to abuse this power that you have over others. Put people first. You can read x-rays or ultrasounds like a telegram, but can you read the involuntary muscles of your patients? Can you see the fear and uncertainty in their faces? Will you tell them when you don’t know what to do? Can you face your own fear? Your uncertainty? When in doubt, will you call for help? Will you be the kind of doctor that cares more about the case than the person?

Rule #8: Be a part of your community beyond your own workplace. Kurt Vonnegut once said “true terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running your country.” My challenge to you is to conduct yourself in such a way that your high school would want you to address the graduating seniors. Join friends and neighbors in activities of schools, churches, synagogues, and mosques. Let your children see that you care about the community you live in and help them learn to exercise their gifts and skills as you do for the betterment of the world.  

Rule #9: Get involved in the business of your practice and specialty. Ask questions about the business of medicine. Take a course and practice management. Strive to someday be in charge. Learn how to code for your services and document what you did. Strive to be the department chair. Strive to be the medical director of your hospital. Perhaps obtain your MBA along the way. If that doesn’t appeal to you, support your leaders. Physicians are consistently ranked at or near the top in terms of public perception of trust and respect for various businesses and professions. As physicians we have all worked hard to build that trust because acting in the best interest of the patient is at core of what we do. Telling your patient what you consider to be the best workup or treatment is simply what is expected. When that responsibility is abused and trust is broken, the patient loses and our profession suffers.

Dr. Eskew ended his speech by congratulating the students on receiving their Doctor of Medicine degree and reminded them that it was up to them to use the skills and knowledge gathered to build a stepping stone for others.

After degrees were awarded, and the ceremony came to a close, Dr. Geisler left the new physicians with these parting words:

“Trinity School of Medicine strives to equip future physicians with the skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities and uncertainties that lie ahead in healthcare. Today we celebrate our graduates who have completed rigorous years of study and the friends and families who supported them throughout this journey and process. Medicine is a noble profession, you walk the path of a privileged few and we are very very proud of you.”


Request More information