Greetings from Health Professions

It has been 50 years in May since the spring morning when, along with my medical school classmates, I took a sacred and ancient oath to alleviate human suffering and promote healing. As I reflect back on my career as a physician, something that I learned a long time ago stands out: Human beings are 99.9 percent genetically alike in their DNA.

Celebrating, understanding, honoring, and respecting our uniqueness is a central foundation for becoming a compassionate, competent and quintessentially Amherst health professional.  At the same time, we have much more in common than we realize, and the quest to celebrate, understand, honor, and respect our shared humanity and global community is equally central to shining as a health professional and, more immediately, to enriching our pre-health community here at Amherst.

For a few fleeting moments on the afternoon of April 8, whether gathered on the Quad or wherever we were at the time, we directly experienced that oneness through witnessing the solar eclipse.

Quoted in The Boston Globe, one observer of the solar eclipse, who experienced it in Vermont from the path of totality, captured the moment, saying, ‘It’s like the world stopped for a moment and people were just unified by this celestial moment,’ she said. ‘They were in a different world.’

We hope that, individually and together, we can all honor the feeling of togetherness that witnessing the eclipse brought us by striving to create more connection, more shared experience, and more common understanding in our lives.

By Richard Aronson
Richard Aronson Program Director, Careers in Health Professions