Friends and family joined together in the Colonial Hall at Universidad Andrés Bello’s Casona campus to celebrate the graduation of UNAB’s fifth cohort of medical students. Dr. Jaime Contreras, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, welcomed the visitors and in his speech reminded his new colleagues that "You, your family and friends have all contributed to help you successfully arrive here today. Today you become the heirs of a legacy embodied in the story that began with Hippocrates and Galen, among many other leading figures of medicine."
After his speech, Dr. Contreras provided the graduates with their diplomas. Some parents personally delivered the diplomas to their children. This was the case of Cecilia Maldonado, mother of Gabriela Santander Maldonado, who is also a medical doctor and said, "It is an honor and a pleasure to see you finish the program."
Among such joy and excitement some students took the time to discuss the completion of the program and talk about their future plans. Pía Ode for one is less interested in having direct contact with patients and aims to specialize in Medical Management, explaining a desire "to work with policy performance and improve health systems." Leopoldo Diaz wants to specialize in trauma and said that "after an internship last year, I am working on a trauma fellowship. Today is a very important day in my life, I hope it is one of many to come."
Claudia Acevedo was awarded the Academic Excellence Award for her outstanding performance during the seven years of the program. The UNAB Spirit Award, which honors the student who best represents UNAB’s values, was awarded to Nicholas Arrau. The best teacher award, as recognized by the students, was awarded to Dr. Carolina Herrera. The very excited teacher said "it is an honor to impact the lives of students, as a medical practitioner each youth who graduates today represents the projection of my own work."
The awards were followed by a classical musical interlude performed by UNAB’s Camerata. Then two students on behalf of the new graduates, thanked their parents, family and teachers for all the support given during these years that ultimately made the graduation ceremony possible. The ceremony was also attended by UNAB’s Rector, Pedro Uribe and Vice Rector of the Concepción Campus, Octavio Enriquez.
To end the ceremony, Dr. Contreras read, with his new colleagues, the Hippocratic Oath, a way to welcome them to the new challenge they now undertake, as health care professionals.
This article was originally written in Spanish and has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.