205 Congregation

contributing to society. Fifity years on now, a majority of my junior mates may have taken on different roles. One may ponder the aspirations were unfulfilled. Quite the contrary, most if not all have succeeded, as the essence in one’s aspiration is to be a good person, instead of a particular profession. As for myself, I once aspired to be a surgeon. I had then a simple thought, wanting to help ill people to live longer and be with their families. I eventually pursued a profession in banking and finance. Dear graduands, I don't know what your aspiration was in junior years. If it was to be in the medical profession, I congratulate you. If it was something else, you are also fulfilling your aspiration as it has always been to be someone good, contributing to society. How to be a good person (做個好人), a good banker, or a good medical professional? During my 33 years in banking, I often reflected... Is a good banker about maximising profit for the bank, helping companies to do a biggest fund raising? Friends may joke - how can bankers be good persons? Bankers lend only at good times. There is a Chinese saying - Bankers lend umbrellas when sunny, and recall them on rainy days (落雨收遮). Bankers overcharge on fees? Bankers ask customers for complicated procedures? Are we really helping or only helping customers when it generates the best profits, instead of a reasonable margin...? Are bankers a civilised version of a loan shark? Actually banks take on many considerations, e.g.: • More restrictive policy on lending to certain industries like tobacco, timbering, or gaming • More supportive policy on lending to the needy segments like the small-tomedium-size enterprises (SMEs), especially in difficult economic circumstances • Lending for good causes - support Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) or environmental business • Initiatives to look after the elderly and the vulnerable • Hiring retired seniors to work at branches as ‘smart seniors’ helping customers on understand services, like technology enhancement and digital banking • Banks dedicate resources to voluntary and social projects that engage thousands of employees, which work both ways in the community How is it in the medical profession? Let’s take doctors as an example, and I trust it applies to the wider medical profession. What distinguishes a great doctor? Is it about being capable of performing the most complicated surgery, or to come up with groundbreaking research? There is a difference between a competent doctor and a good doctor. A good doctor goes far beyond technical excellence. Competence is essential, and I am confident the University has equipped you with the best education and training. Sir William Osler, the father of modern medicine, once said, ‘The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.’ I looked through some research and recent surveys, which shed light on key attributes beyond technical competence for a good doctor. I’ve taken the liberty to group them into 5Cs- Compassion, Communication, Collaboration, Curiosity and Commitment. (1) Compassion – It is the ‘ability to identify with the suffering of another or to imagine ourselves in a similar state’ (將心 比己). Be empathetic, show respect and make patients feel cared for. (2) Communication – The listening part is equally if not more important than the telling part. To be a good listener is consistently ranked very highly by patients. This is not easy especially with tight manpower and heavy patient load in the public system. (3) Collaboration – Be a good team player with colleagues of similar or different specialisations across teams; relaying information across the health care system; and specialists to get the primary care physician in the loop. This is key in today’s world of ‘specialisation’ or at times I consider ‘over-specialisation’ as in banking, when very often it’s much harder to find a CEO successor than a business function specialist. (4) Curiosity – When presented with befuddling symptoms, be curious to enquire, do extra research, reach out to fellow professionals to arrive at the diagnosis. (5) Commitment - The profession of medicine is not just a job but a calling; a commitment to your profession, to your patients, and more importantly, to continued self-improvement. Psychologists who study commitment see commitment as a personal resource that protects you from the negative effects of stress as it brings direction and meaning to your work. With commitment, we are less likely to burn out. I echo that as I experienced in banking, when we went through major adversities like the global financial crisis in 2008, those who had the inner commitment thrived on FAR STRONGER. It’s not difficult to agree that the fundamentals, the 5Cs - Commitment, Communication, Compassion, Curiosity and Collaboration - are relevant among different professions - banking, medical and others. The challenging part is how to keep the ‘aspiration’, the value and belief, close to the heart and live up to it. Here, let me share a story. Hundreds of years ago, in a small town, there was a pious son whose elderly mother was seriously ill. He did not know where to find a good doctor. He was worried and prayed. A fairy appeared and said, ‘My boy, go to the town centre where there are many doctors. Take this magic mirror and put it against the clinics’ signage. You would find images of the dead under 21 The 205th Congregation