Newark School Of Psychiatry Commencement Address

August 1, 2012 Alistair McHarg

When the Newark School Of Psychiatry asked me to give their commencement address I knew I’d been granted an important opportunity, the chance to influence idealistic young men and women who will help shape the future of mental health care.

As I walked on stage the sound of pigeons coughing mingled with scattered golf applause. I began.

As I gaze out upon this sea of eager faces I clearly realize that the future of mental health care is in your hands, so wash them often – and don’t forget that funky stuff under your nails.

Speaking seriously, as a comic, I maintain that only with the benefit of hindsight will we ever gain sufficient foresight to finally lock the end insight in our sights, all protestations notwithstanding. But I digress.

Despite its foundation in medicine, psychiatry has always been more art than science and, as the performance artist said – “I don’t know much about art but I know what I’m like.”

Or did he? Either way, that’s not the point right now. Time is tight and I will be too about 20 minutes after this lecture is over and I’m in the lobby of the Fall Rite Inn, gazing fondly at my check.

And how does this make me feel, you may ask, and certainly will, ad infinitum, or in your case, odd infinitum, if not ad nauseum, but enough about me.

As insurance companies pressure you to throw pills at ills rather than patiently pursuing pressing problems you may ask yourself – whazzup? Whether you intend to heal or throw in the towel and yell, what the heal, is immaterial. Here’s what really matters.

At a faraway nameless, faceless corporate park in Texas is a bank officer who cares about you very, very much. Until you’ve repaid every nickel of that King’s ransom you borrowed from him to purchase this education, you are in a much deeper pit than any of your patients.

Start haunting yard sales; amass a collection of 20-year old National Geographics and plastic plants. Learn how to sleep with your eyes open. Go to Walmart and shop for furniture. Buy clothes at The Salvation Army and make sure your jackets have plenty of cigarette burns – commit!

Thank you.

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2012, August 1). Newark School Of Psychiatry Commencement Address, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

August, 1 2012 at 6:50 pm

Well they do say medicine is an art and that doctors practice medicine. I think they do what they do well even if it is only practice. Seriously though, the amount of debt that it costs to go to post graduate school is enough to make even the sane go insane. Have a great week.:)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alistair McHarg
August, 2 2012 at 2:18 am

Cindyaka - Thanks for writing. You are in rare form today! Have a great weekend! - Alistair

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