IT was truly a momentous occasion for the 49 students who were formally enrolled with the Spartan Health Sciences University School of Medicine at its glittering white coat ceremony, where they were educated on what it takes to become a successful physician.
The ceremony, which was held last Saturday at the university’s auditorium, saw the students donning their white coats and reciting the Hippocratic Oath, which spelt out what is expected of them as physicians in training.
The ceremony was attended by a number of officials of the university and family members of the new students.
In his keynote address to the enthusiastic students, Dr Mark Swartz, Adjunct Professor, told them that the event marks a milestone in their education as they enter their chosen field.
“The ceremony marks the beginning of a lifelong journey and your official welcome to the medical profession. It is a rite of passage for students in the health profession, humanism, and compassionate patient care,” Dr Swartz said.
He added: “The white coat has a long association with all things medical, scientific and healing. It is associated with the attributes of purity and goodness, traditionally symbolized by the colour.”
According to Dr Swartz, the ceremony has now made the students part of the legacy of thousands of physicians whose contributions to medical science have resulted in advances that have expanded boundaries of knowledge, alleviated untold suffering, and saved the lives of countless of individuals.
He impressed upon them the need to be professional in executing their duties and reminded them that their primary obligation is always their patients regardless of their social or economic status.
“Whether your patient is an affluent lawyer or street cleaner, learn who they are. Ask each patient something personal unrelated to their medical condition that will make you view them as a unique individual. This will help you treat the person and not the disease,” Dr Swartz explained.
According to him, the ceremony adorns the students with one of the most important symbols and commits them to the profession’s contract with society.
“You will need to earn that white coat everyday of your life. Whether you realize it fully or not, you have made a covenant with the profession, your teachers and with your patients, to be the best doctor you can,” he said.
Dr Swartz described Spartan as an institution that shows great interest in the education of its students.
Assistant Dean of Admission at the university, Dr Rajeev Pandey, said the students are very enthusiastic about becoming physicians and have demonstrated their willingness to learn and cope with the challenges which they will encounter.
Dr Pandey is confident that they will do well in their exams and make the university proud.
Rishabh Kandwal, a representative of the new students, in his brief address, spoke about the university in glowing terms.
He noted that the students are prepared to face the challenges which they will encounter in pursuing their dreams and will do their best to pass their exams.