"Please care for the world's poor, the world's unstable and suffering crisis zones, and the physical Earth itself, with the same rigor, professional care, and moral commitment that you will apply to your patients," Sachs said. "You join the healing arts at a moment that the world needs your skills, passion and virtue."
Sachs addressed 172 graduates from the medical school and 41 from the
At the ceremony, Baylor President and CEO Dr.
Klotman told the graduates Kretzer and the honorary degree recipients were selected as role models.
"They have all used their talents wisely and well and have given back to others without hesitation. They are living their lives based on their convictions to make the world a better place," he said. "Just like you, each of them began their careers with goals and dreams and they turned those dreams into reality."
Sachs, director of the
Noting that an emergency doctor confronting an impoverished patient at mortal risk of starvation would not first lecture the patient about proper eating habits, he said, "The same applies when a country is facing an economic or public health emergency. When a country is overcome by an uncontrolled epidemic such as HIV/AIDS, or a banking collapse, or an acute budget crisis, the first order of business for the world community is to help the hard-hit country to survive."
"The crisis is not the occasion for sanctimonious lectures or even benign neglect," he said. "If the world simply stands by when a country is being swallowed by an economic crisis, the result can be violence, epidemic disease, mass migration, or worst of all, outright war."
"A true emergency-room response - an injection of international aid to stabilize the floundering economy - can repay itself many times over by helping that country to avoid descent to chaos and helping it make a speedy recovery," he said. "Too often, however, we consider the suffering of others 'not our business.'
Sachs praised Dr.
Kretzer, director of anatomical sciences at Baylor, was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award.
"Over the last 38 years he has formed the foundation and shaped the careers of an entire generation of physicians trained here," Monroe said. "He embodies everything it means to be an educator and his teaching style can be summed up in two words ... positively elegant."
He has served on the
Walmus, director of the
"Throughout his years at the DeBakey VA,
Palese, chair of microbiology and professor of medicine at the
He is an internationally recognized microbiologist who pioneered the field of reverse genetics for negative-strand RNA viruses, allowing the introduction of site-specific mutations into the genomes of these viruses, Monroe said. "This revolutionary technique has significant implications for understanding and preparing for infectious disease pandemics."
Sachs also was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Letters in Medicine.
"His work on ending poverty, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices, has taken him to more than 125 countries with more than 90 percent of the world's population," Monroe said.
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