Dr. Ruth Tan Lim Gives Commencement Speech at SCNM
June 23, 2018 Commencement Speech at SCNM – Chandler Center for the Arts
Ruth Tan Lim, MD, MD(H)
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest Naturopathic Colleges in this country.
Today let me share with you the three success:
The first is EDUCATION SUCCESS – CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THIS. Reaching this important milestone of your life took you several years. You have used your TIME, TALENTS, and TREASURES well. On this journey you have received HELP, KINDNESS and SUPPORT from MANY – your family, parents, spouse, relatives, your friends, your teachers, professors and mentors . THANK THEM and ALWAYS REMEMBER THEM. Enjoy this success. – a job well done.
THE second is your PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS. You are now EMBARKING on this AMAZING journey and with the correct MINDSET you will be successful. Think and plan in terms of DECADES – 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years, and MORE.
NATUROPATHIC Medicine is GAINING RECOGNITION. It has VERY DEEP ROOTS, with many strong branches (– botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, Homeopathic Medicine, Mind/Body Medicine, Women’s Health, Natural Childbirth/Midwifery, Physical Medicine, manipulative therapy, acupuncture, lifestyle counseling), Each branch has MANY LEAVES and many modalities.
Naturopathic Medicine in North America can be traced back to Dr. Benedict Lust, in New York, which graduated its first class of naturopathic practitioners in 1902.
These practitioners went on to form the Naturopathic Society of America and established naturopathic medical colleges throughout North America.
As a naturopathic physician there are MANY OPPORTUNITIES – you can be a clinical practitioner (individual, group or in an institution). You can be ACADEMIC – TEACH and do RESEARCH. You can be an entrepreneur. You will continue to use your TIME and TALENTS for this period of your professional life. You will gather many TREASURES both in assets and EXPERIENCES along the way.
Let me share with you my 50 years in Medicine – the twists and turns of my professional career. I graduated in 1968 from King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore. It was a British system as Singapore was a British colony from 1842 till independence in 1965. After graduation I worked my way as an intern, medical officer, Registrar and Senior registrar (junior attending) and specialized in CHILDREN’s Health with a
Master’s Degree in Pediatrics. In 1974, (6 years in my comfort zone) Professor Wong, head of the Pediatric Department asked me to accompany David, a 12 year old boy with a very complicated illness, to America. David was in a COMA, required 3 airplane seats, needed IV therapy and oxygen. We flew with his family from Singapore to Frankfurt and then NY city. He was accepted for treatment as a research case at the famous Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. David was there for one month and he then passed on. It was a “SPECIAL EXPEREINCE” for me when I saw the hospital and the large institution. I DECIDED to ask David’s Doctor a pediatric researcher and Oncologist for a job. She advised me to first get a green card- I did – it took me six months. I returned to NYC in February of 1975. This began my American Journey. Now I have been in this country for 44 years. The next 5 years were not easy. I did research, residency, then fellowship in pediatric hematology oncology, took many exams including licensing exams ( I hardly saw the sun, only work and study.)
I then moved to Arizona , settled down and started my practice in 1980 which is now in its 38th years . PRACTICE IS hard work, innovation and has many CHALLENGES –however they are very valuable experiences especially because you LEARN from your patients.
On the advice of my husband, I decided to join the military, in the ACTIVE RESERVE, as a part time soldier as a backup for my career. The time passed, in 1991 , I was activated to serve in Operation Desert Storm. I came back ALIVE, continued to serve for a total of 20 years 6 months and retired as a LTC in the air force. I can write a book on this. The military experience IMPACTED me DEEPLY. I learned a lot about LIFE, and HUMANITY – the need to THINK COOL and DO GOOD . I later then set up a Nonprofit for Children now in its 26th year. The mission is to enhance every child’s journey through life make a difference for each child one at a time.
After Desert Storm, I became interested in other Alternative Medicine, that can heal and make a person whole. I became a Licensed Homeopath in Arizona and today I practice Integrative Medicine.
The reason I share with you my story is that every twist and turn is another opportunity for Personal and Professional Development. I want to pass this ENTHUSIASM to you because ENTHUSIASM is PASSION, and PASSION is POWER and POWER is ACTION and ACTION CAN DO GOOD and LEAD TO SUCCESS.
That brings me to the third SUCCESS – which is COMMUNITY SUCCESS.
After you are established in your professional career, look around, you can make a difference. Continue the momentum –with your profession, at the same time be generous with your TIME, TALENTS and TREASURES. You can help, empower, lead and
give. Be philanthropic. Always practice kindness. To quote from Mark Twain “KINDNESS IS THE LANGUAGE WHERE THE DEAF CAN HEAR AND THE BLIND CAN SEE”
Community SUCCESS is very important. A vibrant community is a more healthy community. and when you share success, it will beget more success. Congratulations again and Thank you.