During his keynote address at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine’s (AUC) inaugural Convocation Ceremony, Dr. Stephen Sibbitt had a message for students:

As an AUC graduate, anything is possible.

That notion certainly holds true for the 1994 graduate. In the years since earning his medical degree, Dr. Sibbitt has established a successful career as evidenced by his numerous accolades and honors. Upon graduation, he began an internship at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan and was named Intern of the Year. He then completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, where he was selected as Chief Resident. He remained at UTMB as Associate Director of the internal medicine residency program before joining Baylor Scott & White Health’s internal medicine residency program at the Texas A&M College of Medicine.  At both schools, Dr. Sibbitt oversaw training programs for hundreds of US medical school graduates—an irony that was not lost on the international medical graduate.

Today, Dr. Sibbitt serves as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Baylor Scott & White Health’s flagship hospital, Scott & White Memorial Hospital - Temple, a 636 bed, level one trauma and academic referral center in central Texas. As CMO, he is responsible for a multispecialty group practice with over 700 physicians that logs more than 2 million patient visits a year. He also supervises medical graduate education for 475 residents and fellows across more than 40 ACGME accredited residency programs. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Sibbitt has remained close to his alma matter—keeping tabs on AUC via the website and attending various admissions events. Similarly, AUC has followed Dr. Sibbitt—reading his publications and observing his accomplishments at Baylor Scott & White Health. His drive, compassion, and commitment led to an invitation to speak at AUC’s inaugural Convocation Ceremony in September.

“Never could I have ever imagined that I’d be invited back to address you all—and specifically the students,” Dr. Sibbitt remarked during his address. “This is a great privilege that you’ve bestowed on me and I’m very, very grateful.”

Watch Dr. Sibbitt’s Speech on YouTube

Standing before an auditorium full of students, he recounted his own journey of becoming a physician, and the disappointment he felt when he was turned away from Canadian medical schools. One comment in particular left a lasting impression: “you don’t have what it takes to be a physician.”

That wasn’t something he was willing to accept, especially having dreamed of becoming a doctor since the age of 5. So when Dr. Sibbitt found a poster at McMaster University about AUC—a school in the Caribbean—he decided to apply. He enrolled in 1990 and never looked back.

Twenty-six years later, almost to the day, he returned to AUC to deliver that very important message to a new batch of students. Speaking candidly, Dr. Sibbitt discussed the challenging road ahead, the art of making a difference, and the immense joy that comes from being a physician. He also imparted what he calls the five core principles to distinguishing yourself as a physician.

5 Core Principles to Achieving What You Want

  1. Hold yourself responsible to a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.

  2. Learn to listen. Listen to yourself, listen to your peers, learn from others, and most importantly, listen to your patient.

  3. Be humble and show respect.

  4. In everything that you do, place the needs of your patients above all else.

  5. Don’t forget those who support and love you.

As his talk winded down, Dr. Sibbitt offered one parting thought. He urged students to pave the path for future medical students, to act responsibly and protect AUC’s reputation, and to be proud of the medical school that gave him a chance.

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Shannon Toher

Posted September 14, 2016 10:43 AM

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    10/31/2016 7:15:37 PM

    Incredible speech. And absolutely true. I would not be where I am without the help of AUC.