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Clapping Hands

“May I present to you the graduating class of meds…”
The uproarious burst of applause that always follows this statement is a wonderful sound–one that I’ve heard echoing through nine years now of medical graduation ceremonies. It’s the sound of the clapping hands of proud parents, exultant students, happy faculty and supportive staff who are all so glad to see this moment come.

During those inevitable times when I wonder why I’m doing what I’m doing, or why some of the medical students are doing what they’re doing, or even why some of the faculty are doing what they’re doing, I remember this joyful cacophony of sound. I remember the sight of hundreds of hands clapping, as people surge to their feet, raising their applauding hands in the air, as the students turn, beaming, to face their parents, teachers and staff. I remember the tears that (always!) course down my face, and the joyous faces of the parents and faculty around me.
I think to myself, “This is why we do what we do.” Then I beam back at the physicians who will look after me and mine, as they bask in the jubilation of the crowd, in the sound of hands clapping.
Sheila Pinchin
Kingston, Ontario, Canada


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