Dr. Eric Asamoah, Chairman of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council has charged medical students of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), beginning practical training, to show compassion to their patients, as they are the ultimate teachers.
He said medicine was not studied in the classroom but by the bedside, and as such being the best in the various science subjects does not necessarily make one a good doctor, but the compassion shown to people and the commitment to duty.
He was speaking at the seventh White Coat Ceremony held at the UCC to signify the transition of 68 level 400 students of the School of Medical Sciences (SMS) from the study of pre-clinical to clinical studies.
The white coat ceremony is a ritual in medical school which involves the formal robing of students in a doctor’s traditional wear; the white coat. UCC-SMS is the first and only medical school in Ghana that performs the ceremony.
Dr. Asamoah also charged the students to attach dedication and commitment to their study to make them proficient in the profession.
Stressing on the serious impact the profession has on life, he noted that mistakes in the medical field were irreversible unlike in other fields like law in which a lawyer could appeal on a case if they lost.
He said the acceptance of the white coat was a symbol of dedication to duty and a position of trust, adding that medical school and the profession would show how each student makes it.
Prof. Domwini D. Kuupole, outgoing Vice Chancellor of the UCC, said the university has been receiving positive response from various hospitals where UCC trained doctors work, and reaffirmed the university’s resolve to churn out very competent doctors.
He urged them to be truthful, honest to themselves, take practical lessons serious and be diligent and committed to duty so they would be successful at the end of their remaining years on the campus.
Prof. Harold Amoono-Koufie, Provost of the College of Health and Allied Sciences said the university had introduced innovative programmes which brings a new wave of clinical practice.
The Dean of the SMS, Prof. Francis Offei, charged them not to see the ceremony as a mere formality but their ushering into the ethics of the profession, urging them to build on the strong foundation they have laid in the first cycle of their study.
The students took the SMS Medical Students Oath which read in part, “I will practise to the highest standards of conduct by doing what is best for my patients and allowing neither greed nor stinginess, nor desire for great reputation to corrupt me.”
From Jonathan Donkor, Cape Coast