Reflections on the Class of 68 Jubilee Anniversary
Submitted by Yves J. Manigat MD
Fifty years of medical practice, by all norms, deserves a proper acknowledgement, a celebration or an analytic review of the trajectory of this special group of achievers; referring in this case to these colleagues all MDs of Haitian descent, who have sorted themselves out thru their outstanding professional performance during this last half of a century: a milestone to glorify, for the accumulated good that it has generated in the practice of Medicine, throughout our constituency, our communities and our nation.
Tonight, they are triumphant, full of joy and pride, animated with this special spirit of appurtenance emanating from all they share together.
We started out together in the early 60s as a contingent of 150 plus students, dabbling enthusiastically in the initiating sciences courses, within the premises of the State University of Haiti, where inevitably the politics of the time were as much a challenge as our academic curriculum.
We ended up in 1968 with a count of 51, having completed the required academic and practical agenda, and therefore to receive our Degree of Doctors in Medicine, which we are celebrating today again, some fifty years later.
After two years of additional training in Haiti, the majority of these new graduates had spread out over the North American Continent, all convinced that our mission was to reach the epitome of the Science of Medicine in our respective fields and to return home and serve our compatriots.
Our destinies, however, were written differently. With Haiti being in constant turmoil, the working conditions deteriorating more and more, the absence of a clear vision or political orientation preventing any consistent development, our initial goal was tempered, progressively transformed by a process of integration and Americanization. Our lives in this new world had taken a new turn. Our successes have engendered these new specialists, most of them Certified by their respective Boards
- 5 in Family Medicine- 4 in Internal Medicine – 1 in Pulmonology- 2 in General Surgery, with subspecialty interests – 1 in Anesthesiology- 7 in Pediatrics- 2 in Physical Therapy- 6 in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and others.
Many of them have elected to be recertified in order to keep up their standings among their peers. Several were recognized within their institutions among the Chiefs or Associate Chiefs of their speciality units.
Just as intriguing, the remainder of the class of 68 practising in Haiti, has as well dominated the scene, by maintaining strong leadership positions in our medical organizations and our teaching institutions. Some have left distinguishing marks, by following their philanthropic instincts.
Their basic mission has been fulfilled by artfully using their scientific knowledge for the benefit of their countrymen. Functioning always with dedication in a System too often deficient is inarguably commendable.
Thank you to the AMHE, the Association uniting the physicians of Haitian origin living aboard.
Thank you for endorsing always the right ethics to protect us against any deviation.
Thank you for stimulating excellence and for providing the cohesiveness to this special group for a dignified representation in the wilderness of a competitive field.
We owe a special homage to our classmate, Dr Guy Deve Theodore who succeeded where so many have failed. He left an indelible imprint on his birthplace, by affecting so profoundly the lives of the people in that region of the country. Dr Guy Deve Theodore created a legacy in building and nurturing up to maturity, this Center of excellence for the practice of Medicine, bearing University Standards: L’hôpital de Bienfaisance de Pignon.
Our families were growing in the meantime while the years were passing by. The children started to display their own accomplishments. The grandchildren have gotten in the picture, one more promising than the next.
Before we realized it, we were due to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our graduation.
What an achievement! And the honorees rightfully deserve this tribute. But the credit goes also to a long list of contributors, particularly our talented professors at the time at the State University of Haiti, represented today among us by Dr Emmanuel Francois and to whom we would like to express again our sincere gratitude.
We owe so much also to the people surrounding us, fulfilling their role at times silently and with no fanfare, as spouses, parents, siblings, friends, supporters, stimulators, counsellors, guides, believers. We thank you to-night for getting us there, for being behind this picture perfect of success. We love you all.
After 50 years of performance in this noble Profession, it is natural to acknowledge the great intellectual capacity of everyone in the group. One also has to recognize that these professionals are special for dedicating their lives to do good, for having the heart and the fortitude to address day after day the calamities of the human body and for reaching out for excellence every day.
It is only with this kind of Mindset that one can persist and last for so long. They are viewed mostly as successful for having done so well in a system which is so demanding and yet completely foreign to them at the onset.
We are indeed proud of ourselves and of each other.
Have we reached Excellence? Certainly not, but we must have come close to it, in our aspirations.
Our impact in our various communities has been amply reported thru the acknowledgement of our patients or the adulations of those who are observing our tracks. What can we wish to the Honorees of such a jubilee, other than to stay healthy and enjoy the accolades for your exemplary work, which makes your children and grandchildren so proud? Relish your retirement, but remember, as an ultimate reward, more may be requested of you.
You remain most importantly the ultimate aspiration, a compass for our younger generations, a lighting pole for your profession, an example of discipline and endurance and more importantly a symbol of love in your family.
Thank you for listening and Let me invite you now to raise your glasses of Champagne to confirm the celebration.
Class of 68 FMH
- Boitard Antoine MD
- Gérard Sam Audigé MD
- Gabriel Brouard MD
- Pierre Brutus MD
- Anne-Ninon Brutus MD
- Suzelle Verna Cadet MD
- Fritz Casimir MD
- Arnoux Charlot MD
- Luckner Dascy MD
- Armand Demosthenes MD
- Bertholet Désir MD
- Maurice Dieudonné MD
- Joel Henriquez-Poliard MD
- Greta Lataillade Roy MD
- Ghislaine Leurebours MD
- Claude Emile Macajoux MD
- Yves Manigat MD
- Wesner Moïse MD
- Charles Pouponneau MD
- Serge St. Gérard MD
- Guy-Deve Theodore MD
- Frankel Val MD
- Eddy Vincent MD