One well-known U.S. senator and Kentucky native came to the mountains to speak to medical school graduates. Some might say he could relate more to these students as he has not always been involved solely in politics.
Sen. Rand Paul (R) had uplifting words for the University of Pikeville’s School of Osteopathic Medicine graduates.
Paul encouraged the young doctors to overcome the obstacles of becoming a physician, such as caring too little, too much and even challenging the norm when necessary.
“Don't let them tell you it can't be done, think outside the box,” said Paul.
“Be your own man, or your own woman.”
This was the senator’s first commencement speech and he said it was special to speak to medical school graduates as he is a doctor.
“I still remember those young, heady days when I was first becoming a physician and what they have to look forward to and what the community has to look forward to having these young doctors in their region of the mountains,” said Paul.
Paul said this was a new experience and he admitted he was nervous.
“I was a bit nervous, even though I have now given thousands of speeches,” said Paul.
“Particularly, because this is a little bit different than the red meat and potatoes of politics.”
Paul said the speech was more about his experiences in medicine and what the graduates should expect and how they choose their path.
This is the first class to graduate since the college became a university. UPIKE President Paul Patton says his speech hit home.
“He was talking basically to these young physicians that have a tremendous responsibility to look out for these people for many, many years,” said Patton.
“Being a physician himself, I think he related to them very well.”
More than 60 graduates received their degrees at the ceremony. Sen. Paul also received an Honorary Doctorate of Community Service from the University of Pikeville. Paul said that was also another first for him and was a “nice surprise.”