Dr. Brad Ingram has already made an impression on students, medical and beyond, which is why he was chosen to give the second annual Last Lecture on Wednesday in the Student Union to a crowd of almost 250 students, faculty, and staff. He shared a serious message about physician and health care burnout, but delivered his thoughts on the subject with plenty of laughs.
Hosted by Student Alumni Representatives, or STARs, the Office of Alumni Affairs, and the Associated Student Body, a “Last Lecture” is traditionally a message that someone gives knowing it's their last chance to speak publicly, an idea that became popularized when Dr. Randy Pausch gave a talk at Carnegie Mellon University one month after learning he had metastatic pancreatic cancer in 2007. At only 38 years old, Ingram said he was extremely humbled to be chosen, and joked that this is his “mid-life crisis” lecture instead of his last.
Ingram is an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Neurology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 16. While in college, he met a doctor in Memphis who finally diagnosed his specific epilepsy and told him there was no reason his disease should ever keep him from medical school, or anything else he wanted to do.
His personal experience with the disease has made him who is as a doctor today. “I'm really passionate in taking care of kids. I want them to know, 'you have epilepsy; don't let it have you,'” he said.