Having arrived early, it was possible to see the excitement build from the very beginning. You could feel it even in the parking lot; today was no ordinary day.
As the people were seated over an hour before it was to start, the look of pride and anticipation was very clear.
Many had come from far away. It had been a long time coming. A great deal of hard work and sacrifice had made this moment possible, and everyone knew it. The closer the relative or friend, the more emotional the evening would be.
Having never had the opportunity to witness this event, I was completely caught up in the moment.
As the time approached for it all to happen, the excitement grew. Even the piano prelude (which was fantastic) was very upbeat.
Just being there would double your adrenaline.
It was time.......
Time for another group of hard working students to become:
DOCTORS OF CHIROPRACTIC
This all may sound a bit corny to you (especially if it has been awhile since you graduated), but for those of us who were there, it was a very important time. A time not to be understated in its importance or significance to the individual or to the profession.
By the year 2000, only ten years away, the chiropractic profession will be made up of DCs who haven't yet graduated.
Think about it......
Cleveland College of Chiropractic in Los Angeles had asked me to present the commencement address. It was an honor I will never forget.
Yes, this was just the beginning of their professional career. Yes, the struggle after graduation is much greater than what it took to graduate. But these facts don't undermine the importance of the time.
The graduation ceremony was held in a church. This was a very fitting place for these new doctors to enter their professional careers. The atmosphere was somber yet joyous. Everyone there was ready to burst with pride.
Most of my speech was inconsequential. In retrospect, the orientation was more chiropractic than the audience was able to assimilate. But as I drew to the close, one thought -- one question -- still needed to be addressed:
Commitment -- commitment by those graduates to be doctors of chiropractic who their profession could be proud of.
Commitment by those friends, faculty, spouses and relatives. Commitment to support those graduates in all of their trials and tests as they made their way through their professional careers.
The graduates were ready to meet the challenge.
The audience had made it clear by their presence that they were there to support those men and women not only to this point, but for the rest of their professional careers.
Now was the time to take the oath.
Chances are, this is not the oath you took when you graduated. If you have a copy of your oath, read that instead. This oath is presented in the hope that you will rededicate yourself to the call that you answered (or will answer) however long ago.
The Chiropractic Oath
I do solemnly pledge before God and man to devote my life to the prevention and relief of human disease and suffering; to perform my professional duties with dignity, pride and courage; to always live up to the high principles of my profession, to protect my science; and to enjoy the blessings and benefits of chiropractic.
May the purity and commitment of the call you answered and the oath you took be renewed in you as you continue to serve humanity.
And may every DC now in practice not forget the times when they needed help. And in so doing, stretch out a hand to those new graduates coming into their community.
Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.