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'Embrance the challenge ... behold the view,' MCPHS grads told

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 14. 2013 7:45PM

MANCHESTER - Medical-field graduates should be compassionate toward their patients and devote their time to what makes them happy, two student speakers told a record graduating class from MCPHS University Manchester on Saturday.

Graduate Tam Tran, from Randolph, Mass., said a discussion with a terminal cancer patient got him thinking that people should spend their time doing what they love.

"Climb the mountain, not to claim your flag but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air, and behold the view," Tran told graduates and their families at the Radisson.

"Travel around Europe or Asia to enjoy the wonders of the world, not to check it off the checklist," said Tran, who received a bachelor of science in nursing degree. "Because doing a job, planting a flag, or checking something off a checklist is something you complete. Life and doing what you love is something that you experience."

The 236 graduates from MCPHS, formerly known as the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, hailed from 26 states plus Cambodia and South Korea, including 41 graduates from New Hampshire. The 12th Manchester commencement included students who also attended classes on the Boston and Worcester, Mass., campuses.

Fellow student speaker Sean Croteau of St. Petersburg, Fla., said medical professionals must focus on the individual.

"We must remember, you treat the patient, not necessarily the disease," said Croteau, who received a master of physician assistant studies degree.

Former Mayor Sylvio Dupuis, addressing the class, endorsed the Obama administration's health care law.

"We may call it 'Obamacare,' you may call it the 'Affordable Care Act,' but call it all sorts of things, but what is really going on is for this country to try to find a better way, a better way for people to have access to health care," Dupuis told the graduates.

"Make that your mission," said Dupuis, a special assistant to the university president. "What can you do as a professional? What can you do as an individual?"

Before the address, graduate Cherie Ann Somera of Chicago was excited about receiving her bachelor of science in nursing degree.

"It's a great day to celebrate our achievements as an individual and as a class," she said.

University Manchester

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