06/13/2011 02:31 EDT | Updated 08/13/2011 05:12 EDT

Philip Baker, University Of Alberta Dean Of Medicine, Issues Apology Letter

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- EDMONTON - Here is a letter Dr. Philip Baker, the Alberta Dean of Medicine, accused of plagiarizing a graduation address, sent to medical graduates on Sunday night:

Dear Class of 2011,

I have heard from you following the graduation banquet when the theme (and much of the content) of my speech was similar to that of one given by Dr Atul Gawande. When I was researching for the speech, I came across text which inspired me and resonated with my experiences. The personal medical traumas which I detailed were wholly genuine and did indeed engender the sense of inadequacy I highlighted. I also used a medical case of Dr. Gawande’s to further make my point. I offered a sincere written apology to Dr. Gawande and subsequently spoke with him; he was flattered by my use of his text, took no offence and readily accepted my apology.

Most of all, the basic theme of the talk – that of humility — has been overwhelmingly reinforced. I hope you accept my heartfelt apology and although you may not be proud of me as the dean of your school, please know that I am very proud of all of you.

Throughout my professional career and private life, I have held myself to the highest ethical standards possible. The talk was intended for a private audience; nevertheless, my failure to attribute the source of my inspiration is a matter of the utmost regret.

And, while there is no excuse for the lapse in judgment which occurred on Friday evening, I can only offer my sincere and heartfelt apology.

Yours – with deepest regret