Ryan Short- Class of 2019 Commencement Address August 2019

“It is very rare to find a human being today. They are always going somewhere, hardly ever being here.  That is why I call them ‘human goings’.” –

Ajahn Brahm is responsible for that quote and it has stuck with me since I stumbled across it.  I believe it serves as a great reminder to be in the moment, to be “here”.  Often times we get lost in the “going”, trying to hastily complete the journey because our sights are set on the destination. 

Our class has some good destinations waiting, the Armed Forces, Interventional Radiology, Orthopedics, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Ear Nose and Throat, Allergy, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Dermatology, Oncology, Emergency Medicine, and some brave souls have chosen to continue their education through Fellowships.

These new careers come with hard work, long hours, lots of reading, and of course a healthy dose of caffeine.  As we refine our skills in both medical science and the art of patient care. We must remember enjoy the journey on our way to the next destination, to be a human being not a human going.


My head is full of mnemonics from our review course earlier this week.  So naturally I wrote one that might assist us in our “human being”.




B – Belly laugh – Maybe not in front of your patients but please don’t forget self-care


R – Read - continue to learn and evolve as practitioners as the world of medicine changes around us.


E – Empathize – I don’t’ know what else to say here.  Be a good human


A – Adapt – Be prepared without being rigid.


T – Teach – Share your knowledge, with patients, with colleagues, and with aspiring medical providers


H – Heal – This one should have been predictable.  It is why we are all here.


I want to leave you with another quote.  One I feel works on multiple levels, but I’m not going to tell you why… Free high fives to anyone who knows the reference.




“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.”


To my friends and fellow graduates … congratulations… we did it!