Young doctors have to bring together medicine and compassion and work with the awareness that the profession is a noble mission, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said here on Saturday.

Addressing graduands at the 20{+t}{+h} convocation ceremony of Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Mr. Kalam spoke of the societal transformation role that doctors could be expected to play.

Providing examples that the young students could follow, he outlined the pioneering work done by Sudhakar Kore of the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in the Warana area, Maharashtra; G. Venkataswamy, founder, Aravind Eye Hospitals; and H. Sudharshan, founder of the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyan Kendra at B.R. Hills, Karnataka.

While Dr. Kote was an example of how educated and talented doctors with the spirit of entrepreneurship and the help of the co-operative movement could transform health care, Dr. Venkataswamy championed the cause of community ophthalmology in Tamil Nadu. Dr. Sudharshan focussed on the health issues of the tribals in the B.R. Hills area and modified treatment approaches for the poor who cannot, otherwise, afford it.

Quoting from a book ‘Medicine and Compassion,' Mr. Kalam said generosity, ethics, tolerance, perseverance, concentration and intelligence were the six important virtues a medical practitioner had to possess.

He urged the students, during the oath-taking ceremony, to deliver quality care with high standards irrespective of whom they were treating, give confidence to patients and their families and not introduce any diagnostic pain.

Vice-Chancellor Mayilvahanan Natarajan said the university was poised to make giant strides towards excellence in diverse areas and listed areas of academic and administrative faculties that will undergo change. He said many renowned academics had joined the university as visiting professors from other States and abroad.

The Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) was conferred on six eminent personalities in the field of medicine – K. Anandakannan, former Vice- Chancellor and ophthalmologist, TN Dr. MGR Medical University; R. Surendran, Director, Institute of Surgical Gastroenterology & Liver Transplant, Government Stanley Hospital; B. Biswakumar, neurologist; J.P. Rajkumar, paediatrician; G. Natchiar, ophthalmologist; and S. Bhaskaran, orthopaedic surgeon.

A total of 10,955 candidates were awarded their degrees and diplomas in medical, dental, Indian medicine and allied health sciences.

A total of 60 gold medals, 16 silver medals and 36 cash prizes were also awarded to the graduating medical students.

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