By Kingsley Emmanuel
“BE committed to your profession and respect the white coat at all times.”
This was the crux of the message conveyed to the 43 students who were officially enrolled with the Spartan University School of Medicine recently in a glittering white coat ceremony.
The message came from Dr. Mark H. Swartz, who presented the key-note address. A professor at Spartan, Dr Swartz has an illustrious career in medicine, and has published a number of books, one of which was translated in 15 languages, including Chinese.
The students enrolled included those pursuing the Basic Sciences programme and the pre-med programme. They were all in smiles as they donned their white coats and recited the Hippocratic Oath which spelt out what is expected of them as physicians in training.
In addressing the ceremony, Dr. Swartz, who described the medical profession as a noble one, said the white coat has a long association with all things that are medical and scientific.
“This ceremony marks the beginning of your lifelong journey. It also marks a milestone in the lives of every medical student who participates in this wonderful ceremony. It is actually a right of passage for students entering the health profession, and it is designed to inculcate the values of professionalism, humanism…” Dr. Swartz explained.
He implored the students to treat each patient equally regardless of their social or economic status.
“Being a doctor is not just a job, it is a calling. A doctor is always a doctor, day or night, with or without a patient,” Dr. Swartz said.
He urged the students to treat each patient separately and show them compassion. “Think of your mother, father, sister…. being treated as if you were the only doctor,” he said.
Dr. Swartz told the students that learning was lifelong and inner driven, adding that they were never too old or experienced in their profession to learn. He said they will spend the rest of their lives as learners and teachers.
President of the school, Dr. A.C Rao, called on the students to work hard to achieve their goals. He said the school will do its best to ensure that they are properly qualified to face the challenges ahead.
Clinical Dean of the school, Dr. Louis E. Grenzer, in his address, said as long as there was a determination to succeed, success would become a reality. He however added that it required hard work and determination.
He implored the students to think positive and stay focussed, adding that he will play his part in ensuring that they achieve their goals.
“My goal is to ensure that everyone here becomes a successful physician,’ he said.
The students were also informed of some of the school’s achievement by its administrator, Percival Mc. Donald who delivered the welcome remarks.
“Spartan University is the only medical institution on the island which has a provisional accreditation by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medical and other health professions (CAAM-HP).” Mc. Donald said.
Spartan, has been operating here for almost 36 years.