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Mixing praise for nurses with his characteristically humorous style, syndicated columnist Art Buchwald presented his perspective on the future of health care in the U.S. in a campus speech yesterday. Over 300 people filled Harrison Auditorium to hear the Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer's 30 minute speech, "Nursing is No Laughing Matter." Buchwald's speech was frequently punctuated by laughter and applause from the audience. Buchwald, who holds an honorary degree from the University, wistfully recalled that his first experience with nurses was when his sister decided to become one. "It took me until I was 25 years old before I realized that not all nurses steal your toys," he said. Between the many jokes about the high prices of medical care and the poor quality of hospital food, Buchwald did offer praise to the Nursing School and to the profession in general. Buchwald offered some serious advice to nursing students, saying that the most essential element of nursing is humor. He emphasized that laughter can make people feel better and said that he hoped that "we can see a whole new field with nurses and doctors majoring in humorology." Buchwald said that it is important to realize that patients are affected by the expressions of the people who care for them. "Even if you can't be funny, at least smile a lot," Buchwald suggested. Buchwald thanked nurses for the good work they do. "I really admire the people in this field," he said. After Buchwald's speech, a panel of four Nursing School professors asked him for ideas on how nurses could incorporate humor into their patient care. Students said that they found Buchwald very entertaining. College freshman Guy Raviv said he was very impressed with Buchwald's presentation. "It was remarkable how Art Buchwald could utilize humor to make everyone see his on-target views of nursing," Raviv said. But some students said that some of the panelists' questions were not appropriate for someone who is not a health care expert. Buchwald's speech was the 11th installment in the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series which is held annually by the Nursing School.

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