Ebola Doctor Kent Brantly Tells Grads Why He Didn't Feel Like A Failure When He Lost Patients

05/09/2015 10:17 pm ET | Updated May 18, 2015

Dr. Kent Brantly explained to graduates of his alma mater on Saturday what makes doctors so unique: "When everyone else is running away in fear, we stay to help, to offer healing and hope."

Brantly was the commencement speaker for Indiana University School of Medicine, which he graduated from in 2009. He, along with other Ebola doctors and medical professionals, were named Time magazine's 2014 Person of the Year

Brantly treated Ebola patients in Liberia in 2013 and 2014, during which time he watched 20 patients die and only one survive.

"Losing so many patients, certainly, was difficult, but it didn't make me feel like a failure as a physician," Brantly said, according to the Indianapolis Star. "Because I had learned that there was so much more to being a physician than curing illness. That's not the most important thing we do. The most important thing we do is enter into the suffering of others."

Brantly left Liberia because he contracted Ebola and was transported to Emory University's hospital in Atlanta, where he received an experimental treatment and survived.

While he did speak about his own experience treating Ebola patients, and gaining a national recognition as a deathly-ill Ebola patient himself, Brantly also provided a healthy dose of advice for the IU grads.

"You're going to share in the most intimate parts of your patients lives, you will share their moments of tragedy, but you will also share in their moments of greatest joy," Brantly said. "You will make a difference in people's lives and you'll make a difference in the world."

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