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“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This week we have the privilege to honor the distinguished contributions, leadership, spirit of service and dedication to justice that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exhibited throughout his life. Dr. King’s selfless commitment to creating a more just, inclusive and caring world is truly inspirational and provides a shining example of how we can show up and be of service to our learners, patients and community. We can do this by taking part in VCU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week, as well as through our daily work.
As educators, we must be devoted to helping all of our students achieve their professional goals regardless of background, culture or socioeconomic status and modeling the highest ethical standards in our work. As researchers, we need to pursue scientific advances to uplift the health of all people in our community and promote inclusion to improve the ability of biomedicine to deliver precision care. As clinicians, we must be committed to serving all who pass through our doors with dignity, compassion and the best that medicine has to offer.
This speaks to our values as a premier public research institution and academic medical center. It also is reflected in the unique and innovative programs you have developed that focus on serving those in need, the public interest and future generations. We are fortunate to have many examples of this on our campus, including the International/Inner City/Rural Preceptorship (I2CRP) program, VCU Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) and Project ACEe.
Dr. King’s message of inclusion, equality and respect for all resonates just as strongly today as it did more than five decades ago. It is our duty to make sure it carries well beyond this week into all that we do.
Thank you for your leadership.
Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System