Galveston County Daily News, June 16, 2007

Guest Column by Dr. Benjamin S. Carson

Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Sr., was the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremonies of the University of Texas Medical Branch's School of Medicine on June 2. Here are excerpts from his speech: I want to talk a little bit not only about who we are as physicians, but who we are as extraordinarily well-educated and privileged people. There were a lot of problems along the way of me realizing my dream of becoming a physician, not the least of which was the fact that I was a horrendous student.

Unfortunately, I find that there are many such students still. A survey some years ago looked at the ability of students in 22 nations to solve so-called complex math and science problems. We ranked number 21 out of 22. That is a problem. We produce 60,000 engineers in this country each year, 40 percent of whom are foreign born. China produces 392,000 engineers a year. The chairman of Intel recently said it imports all its technical skill from China, Japan, India, Pakistan and South Korea. This is a problem. Now, it is true that, right now, the United States of America is the pinnacle nation in the world. But we're not the first pinnacle nation. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome were pinnacle nations. What happened to each and every one of them? They became enamored with sports, entertainment, lifestyles of the rich and famous. They lost their moral compass and they went right down the tubes. You look at what's important in our society and it really is pretty embarrassing.