I look ahead of me, and I see a future bright with the joy of service and the triumph of progress, but also, I look behind me. And when I look over my shoulder, when I close my eyes and travel through the blood-memories of my ancestors, I see us… Healers. Sages. The accumulated wisdom of centuries and millennia; knowledge of herbs, ointments, compresses. An insatiable thirst for knowledge, a never-ending quest for discovery. While others forged steel into swords and shields and waged war, we were there in the background – healing, mending, joining, setting, curing – and bearing a torch that burned bright, taking our species forward. And the knowledge grew, grew and expanded as the centuries passed, as civilizations and nations rose from the ashes of conquest and empire. And always, we were there. The healers. Now I look before me, and I see nothing but potential – potential limited only by my imagination, and nothing else. At my fingertips lies the accumulated knowledge of all of my brothers and sisters who have lived and died over the centuries, searching for cures, for better methods, for wisdom. It is all here, all here in this school. The height of technological advances, the cutting edge of technologies that are about to take us into a future hitherto unimagined – a future in which no disease is untreatable, no illness terminal, no condition chronic. I see humankind traveling to the stars, and beyond. I see lives of unimaginable potential. And it begins here, with me, at medical school.

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