Dr. Jennifer Arnold Delivers Heartfelt, Inspirational Commencement Speech at West Coast University

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The neonatal physician and co-star of the hit TLC series 'The Little Couple' encouraged the Class of 2014 at West Coast University, which focuses on health care education, to embrace compassion and humility for the best patient care.

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Dr. Jennifer Arnold was the guest speaker at the 2014 Commencement Ceremony for West Coast Univerist

Dr. Jennifer Arnold, co-star of the TLC hit series The Little Couple was the guest speaker at the West Coast University (WCU) commencement ceremony at the Bren Events Center in Irvine on Sunday, where more than 4,000 people gathered to celebrate with the 650 graduates in the WCU Class of 2014.

The physician and TV celebrity was born with a rare form of skeletal dysplasia and stands only 3’ 2” tall, but she had a big message for graduates. She talked about her own experiences as a patient in her childhood, enduring some 30 orthopedic surgeries. It was the attentive, personal care of her surgeon that inspired her to pursue a career in medicine.

Her speech to the graduates, who are all entering the health care sector, was deeply personal and focused on reminding graduates that good patient care requires compassion and humility.

“Each of you, graduates, has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others through your profession,” she told them. “Now that you have the power to heal, can you maintain the courage to be humble?”

Dr. Arnold urged the graduates to avoid the sense of entitlement that is proliferated by the way doctors and nurses are portrayed on television.

“We are surrounded in media today with those personifications of doctors and nurses who promote this sense of entitlement as well. Think about House MD, who knows it all, or Dr. ‘McDreamy’ the sexy take-charge surgeon in the OR. We are surrounded by those personifications in health care, however patients not only come to you looking for answers, treatment, expertise and sometimes miracles, but what they need the most is humility and compassion.”

Following her speech, Dr. Arnold was presented with a special commemorative plaque by University President, Dr. Barry Ryan.

“Dr. Arnold connected with and inspired our graduates with her engaging style and powerful message,” he said. “She is a remarkable person whose passion and commitment are obvious. Dr. Arnold is exactly the kind of person we seek as a commencement speaker. We share her values and applaud her courageous and humble spirit. She honored us with her presence and we shall be forever grateful.”

Dr. Arnold's speech can be viewed online at http://youtu.be/hDzAxIbc53g.

About West Coast University
West Coast University is one of Southern California’s leading health care educators, offering undergraduate programs in nursing and dental hygiene at campuses in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, and nursing programs at its new campuses in Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida. WCU’s graduate programs include nursing, health administration, occupational therapy and physical therapy. West Coast University is institutionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (http://www.wascsenior.org). For more information, visit WestCoastUniversity.edu

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