National Academy of Medicine

President’s Letter

vjd outside

Words of Advice to the Graduating Class of 2017 


It’s graduation season–such a joyful and inspiring moment for thousands of students and their loved ones across the nation. Earlier this month, I had the great honor of delivering commencement addresses for medical graduates at the University of South Florida and Case Western Reserve University. I told these accomplished young individuals, as I would tell their peers across the country, that we need their passion, skills, and dedication now more than ever. Most importantly, we need our future medical leaders to stand up for science.

Increasingly, well-established scientific evidence is being discounted or ignored, and we are experiencing worrying backslides in progress as a result. For example, misinformation about the safety of vaccines has caused a Minnesota community’s measles vaccination rate to drop from 92 to 42 percent–and dozens of children have fallen ill there from a disease that was once all but eradicated in the United States. This is unacceptable, and we in the scientific and medical communities must do all we can to right the course.

Graduates and medical professionals everywhere: Stand up for evidence. The health of our nation depends on it.

Warm regards,
vjd sig

Victor J. Dzau, M.D.
President, National Academy of Medicine