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Tom Brokaw speaks at Mayo Clinic commencement

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm •  Published: May 18, 2013
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — Former news anchor Tom Brokaw became the first recipient of an honorary degree from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine on Saturday.

"If there is an oxymoron in America, it's a humble anchorman," Brokaw said. "But this is truly a humbling experience."

The 73-year-old journalist, who hosted NBC Nightly News for 22 years, joined Mayo Clinic's Board of Trustees in 2008. He's also developed three documentaries about health care in America.

Brokaw also gave a 20-minute commencement speech for the 84-member graduating class, according to the Post-Bulletin of Rochester (http://bit.ly/10D17GT).

Brokaw, a South Dakota native, urged graduates to hold compassionate dialogue with patients, while also improving transparency with regard to medical bills. He compared current receipts to "hieroglyphics."

Brokaw acknowledged that those goals might prove difficult due to the overall uncertainty regarding the Affordable Care Act but encouraged them to tackle what's become a "radioactive issue" within the political world.

"You should go out and make a buck, but also remember (to) make a difference," Brokaw said as he signed off from the podium.