Perdana University 4th Convocation Valedictory Speech
The light is at the end of the tunnel. Isn’t that what we have been hearing for years now, Class of 2019? Here we are holding the torch, having passed the tunnel, ready to light up our future.
First and foremost, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to my parents, Appa, Mr Letchmanan and Amma, Madam Devega for all that you both have sacrificed and done for me. If not for you I would not be standing on this stage today. I can never thank you enough because you had absolute faith in me in everything that I committed myself into. You are my pillars of strength, nurturing me with independence and decisiveness. I fervently believe that I am blessed to have you as my parents. Not forgetting to thank my sister, Deivanaiammal and loved ones for the love and support that you have shown me all these years. I would also like to thank each and every parent, guardian, sibling and relative present today, who have supported us in the worst and celebrated us at our best.
It was indeed an honour to be under the tutelage of the professors and lecturers at PU-RCSI. They played a major role in shaping us into the people we are today. They imparted knowledge not just for academic purposes but also to be applied in daily life. The self-directed learning sessions in wards empowered us with responsibility of learning new things every single day. The belief the lecturers put in us fuelled us to give our best daily, be it at the wards or during the didactic lectures. The dedication of our lecturers during late evening bedside teaching sessions inspired us to work harder to improve our clinical skills. I would like to also take this opportunity to thank the hospital adjuncts and guest lecturers at Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar Seremban who sacrificed their time, effort and energy despite their hectic work schedule to teach us and brush up our skills on bedside conduct and practical procedures. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the faculty staff of PURCSI, clinical site coordinators, Miss Najwa and Miss Aida and the Perdana University administration who supported us throughout the 5 years at the University.
Another big thanks to my mentors at PURCSI, Dr Latifa Nishat, Professor Thidar Aung, Professor Yanti and Professor Raghu Varadarajan who checked on my progress periodically and motivated me to do better for every upcoming semester.
My fellow friends. Well, how would I have gone through these 5 years without you? I am eternally grateful for the friendship that I have fostered in Perdana University over these 5 years. Classroom sessions, clinical bedside teaching, practical procedures, assignments, recreation, name it, we have all participated together. You have been there during hardships as well as smooth-sailing experiences. Thank you for the beautiful memories that you have given me during our tenure here in this university.
Perdana University has given me amazing experiences throughout these 5 years. The RCSI curriculum provided by the university emphasizes a patient-focused approach producing world class doctors who are ready to tackle the rapidly changing field of medicine. The programme sharpened us professionally and intellectually to face the challenges of the real world. During the transit from pre-clinical to clinical years, during which we met real patients, it was difficult for us to look beyond the pages and get across the books to connect with humans by the bedside, although we had great insights from early patient contact via simulated bedside teachings in campus. PU-RCSI through their well experienced tutors made us understand that patients are not just humans with clinical conditions right out of the book. They are like us, they have beliefs, stories and challenges along with their clinical condition. Transcending from the books to clinical experience at the wards instilled a deep sense of empathy in all of us. That I believe is one of the values an excellent doctor should possess. I believe with all that we have learned we will happily lend our ears, listen carefully, observe, empathise, educate, empower and then, heal our patients. They could be one of many for you but for them YOU, might be the only ONE.
Graduands of Class of 2019, the time has come for us to gear up, take the responsibility and face the real world out there. We are all ambassadors of Perdana University, with aspirations alongside potential to bring changes that we wish to see in this world. As a Graduand of the Class of 2019, I would like to humbly share one way by which we can change ourselves and the world for the better.
To quote Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in this world”.
All of us have the potential to excel and achieve greatness but we have to be willing to put in the required amount of work, be patient and persistent to achieve our goals. Nowadays, as everything is just a click away, we millennials are very much driven by instant gratification. As social media is full of content which assumes perfection, we do not allow ourselves to make mistakes and learn from them. We compare ourselves and wish to achieve perfection to treat the eyes of others. I was once stuck in this trap as well. Let me share a short story with you. I was a bright student at school competing for top ranks in the form and wished to score excellent results to secure a scholarship. I learned the reality of life, that things don’t always turn the way that you expect it to do. My score was not enough to secure a scholarship and make my parents proud. The world came crashing down because I did not know how to handle failure. Curbed by the norms of society, I was embarrassed to face my friends and society. My parents taught me then “that too shall pass” and encouraged me to work harder. I am blessed today, to share this stage with the honourable dignitaries to deliver this Valedictory speech. Be impatient with your efforts but not the results. Face your mistakes or failures, analyse them, learn and move forward. The results will come to you at the right time.
It is the time for me to extend my sincerest apologies to all our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, professors, lecturers and the dignitaries if we have offended you.
Farewell is not the easiest thing to face in life. Today might be the last day we see some of our friends here. It could be the last hug, the last photograph and the last goodbye. It is sad to leave behind the memories and move on. However, I assure each one of you here that we have all learned from one another for the years that we have spent together. Wishing all of you nothing but the best for the future and may you prosper and succeed in your undertakings. Become a surgeon, a physician, a professor, a lecturer, an entrepreneur but always remember; “Do your best and be unique!”
I, Saktivadivelu Letchmanan, signing off in the best interest from Perdana University 4th Convocation Ceremony Valedictory Speech with my signature, “CHILL CHILL”.
Thank you very much. God bless.