Julio Frenk, dean of Harvard School of Public Health, was one of 11 innovators, scientists, volunteers, and world leaders who recently received honorary degrees from Canada’s University of Alberta.
Frenk, who received an honorary doctor of science degree at the June 8, 2012 spring convocation ceremony, gave a speech to the graduating class in medicine and dentistry. Quoted in an article on the University of Alberta website, Frenk said that medical education has not kept pace with changing health conditions and should be revamped, focusing more on the performance of health systems and adapting core professional competencies to specific needs. Ideally, health education should help students become “enlightened agents of change,” he said.
He urged the graduates to use the “seeds of ideas and ideals your teachers planted in your minds and in your souls” to become knowledgeable and skillful physicians and dentists.