Tom Brokaw offers advice to Mayo Medical School graduates - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Tom Brokaw offers advice to Mayo Medical School graduates

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- Mayo Medical and Graduate School students earned their diplomas Saturday after years of hard work, and they also received words of wisdom from a Mayo Clinic trustee; former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw.

It is a title that Tom Brokaw is extremely proud of: Mayo Clinic Trustee.

"I find every reason I can just to kind of drop the fact that I'm a member of the Mayo Trustees Board," says Brokaw. "I was interviewing Bill Gates at a big conference on Thursday morning in Seattle and in the middle of my interview I said 'Well, I'm going out to do the commencement at the Mayo Clinic.'"

Brokaw is the recipient of Mayo Clinic's first honorary degree, the Doctorate of Letters. He has seen first-hand the changes that are taking place in healthcare with family in the medical field.

"The healthcare delivery system is going through very radical changes and the doctors are understandably going to be caught up in that," Brokaw explains, "but they can't let it overwhelm what their fundamental obligation is, which is to help the patient."

One main theme of his speech to the new graduates was a focus on improving the doctor-to-patient relationship.

"At the end of the day, the Mayo model is the one that should define their lives," says Brokaw. "It's about having a relationship with your patient. That's why they're in medicine, to help people through difficulties or physical conditions, and that also includes sometimes being able to read the emotional roadmap."

He feels that the future of medicine in our country will be shaped by those earning their degrees on Saturday, and that they already have a jump start on the rest of the world by graduating at the Mayo Clinic.

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