Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein, shared lessons learned from his childhood in South Africa and throughout his career with the 2019 Meharry Medical College Graduating Class at its 144th Commencement Exercises on May 18 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee.
In speaking to the medical and dental graduates, Bergman discussed the importance of thinking big, showing up, remembering that it is all about people, recognizing the importance of family and friends, and learning from failure. He also focused on the skills of persuasion, engaging everyone in a shared mission, and finding mentors and being a mentor to others.
“The process of overcoming our individual challenges is what made us what we are today,” said Bergman. “Each of us was at one time a clay pot that has been made stronger, more useful, and more beautiful by undergoing the heat of the kiln.”
Noting that “doing well by doing good” really works, Bergman stressed the value of giving back to society and encouraged the graduates to focus on increasing access to healthcare, promoting collaborative care between all medical and dental disciplines, providing compassionate care, and providing cultural competency in an increasingly diverse society.
Bergman concluded his address by encouraging the graduates to enjoy the journey of life, make time for family and friends, and have fun along the way.