It was truly a momentous occasion for the graduates of Spartan Health Sciences University School of Medicine and its MD 5 trimester students, whose graduation and farewell ceremony was held on Friday, April 22.
Twenty-three students completed the Basic Sciences programme and eight received their medical degrees at the ceremony.
They were showered with words of inspiration from the various speakers at the ceremony, which included Assistant Dean of the university, Dr. Rajeev Pandey, Dean of the university, Dr. Gurumurthy and Percival Mc Donald, the school’s administrator.
Addressing the MD 5 students, Dr. Pandey said: “The white coat ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students, and was created by the Arnold P. Foundation in 1993. During such ceremony, a white coat is placed on each student’s shoulders, signifying their entrance into the medical profession.”
He said today, the graduates will have something that only a few people are privileged to hang around their necks.
“Farewell ceremony is a time of celebration and marks the end of one phase, and the beginning of the next phase,” Pandey said.
In his address to the graduates, he said: “We are here today to participate in the praises and wonders of your achievements. You are joining the group of 2,500 graduates in a great lineage that honours your endeavours, as well as the legacy of Spartan University School of Medicine.”
“You have shown us that you are committed to each other and to social change. Today is a moment to reflect on how you spend your time here as the world has changed around us. It is also a day to acknowledge and celebrate your unwavering commitment to advance the cause and the knowledge that matters the most in this time,” he added.
Dr. Pandey urged the graduates to reflect on the time they spent at the university and express hope that they will use the education they gained there for the good of everyone and their future endeavours.
He said they will experience great happiness and progress in their endeavours and continue to be a force for good in the world.
Mc Donald, in addressing the graduates, exhorted them to strive to become successful doctors.
“I want to instill in you to remember always your patients comes first, and that you go out there and make Spartan proud. You know your responsible to maintain the Spartan motto, maintain your humility, work hard and show concern for people,” he said.
Speaking specifically to the MD 5 trimester students, Mc Donald said: “Follow the guidelines of being very personal because every patient you see means that the person needs your help and you’re in a position to help that person.
He said Spartan has a good reputation in St. Lucia and in the region.
“There is no way you can go anywhere on the island and in the region by extension, and you will not find a doctor that has not been graduated from Spartan,” Mc Donald said.
Dr Gurumurthy thanked the families of the graduates and MD students for placing their confident in Spartan by sending them there to be educated.
He urged the St. Lucian students to return to St Lucia when they go overseas to continue their studies because St Lucia needs the best doctors.