The University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences (UCCSMS), has held its ninth white Coat Ceremony for its level 400 clinical students with a call on them to cultivate the virtues of integrity.
The ceremony, which is a ritual that involved the formal robing of students in a doctor’s traditional wear, “the white coat”, marked the transition of 70 clinical students from pre-clinical studies to clinical training.
The students took the medical oath to abide by the ethics of the medical profession, which read in part “I will cultivate the virtues of integrity, honesty, compassion, confidentiality, respect and self-sacrifice for myself and my colleagues. I will remember that my action impact the way the world perceives medicine”.
Parents, friends, loved ones and relatives cheered and applauded them as they donned the famous white coat.
Addressing the students, Professor Kwame Nyame, Chairman of the Medical and Dental Council, advised the students not to see the ceremony as a pretext to set the profession apart from society and the community.
Rather, he said it should be the beginning to bond with colleagues, seniors and teachers in the profession and reminded them of their duties and responsibilities as to serve humanity and care for the sick in the society.
Prof Nyame said having the virtue of integrity as a doctor, was the greatest asset to have an impactful and successful career worthy of emulation, adding that “there is nothing worse than a doctor with no integrity”.
He said “your duty, when licensed will be to serve humanity, care for the sick and so learn from now that the licence to practice will be a privilege not a licence to be the boss. You must learn early to treat information on patients as privileged and confidential”.
He advised the students of UCCSMS to develop excellent interpersonal communication skills and working relationship with other staff to enable them work in unity to achieve the target goals of enhancing the health of all humanity.
Administering the medical oath, Dr Kwasi Atikpui Eli, the Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council, said the wearing of the white coat signified great responsibility to humanity and urged the students to recognise it as such.
He said the wearing of the white coat must remind the students of the challenges and task ahead of them and prepare their minds adequately to face them without disrespecting the sanctity of human life.
He encouraged the students to keep their robes neat at all times with their name tags, adding that they would be identified by how they dressed and conducted themselves at the hospitals.
Dr Eli told parents to continually counsel and support their children both emotionally and physically to avoid the excesses associated with youthful exuberance.
He further admonished faculty members to cultivate the habit of wearing the white coat as mentors for the students to emulate.
Mrs Ivy Ekem, the Dean, UCCSMS, said that the school existed to offer medical training that would mould the students to become competent physicians who would manifest exemplary ethical and professional attitudes.
She congratulated the students for their achievements so far and asked them to respect the dignity of patients during their practice.