Earlier this month, Trinity School of Medicine held its White Coat Ceremony for the September 2021 starting class. Along with the new matriculants, parents, relatives, friends, and other well-wishers gathered to celebrate the day at Kingstown Baptist Church in St. Vincent. Presiding over the event was Trinity Dean Dr. Frances Purcell with guest speakers including Her Excellency Dame Susan Dougan, Governor-General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Steven R. Wilson, President of Trinity Medical Sciences University, and Dr. Paul Cartwright.
After welcoming students and their families to this important ceremony, Dr. Purcell invited Governor- General Dougan to offer her own words of wisdom to the group of students starting out on their medical education journey. She began by congratulating the students for answering the call to become a doctor during a time when every part of the world is in dire need of skilled physicians. “Your white coat is symbolic,” said Her Excellency. “It is symbolic because it represents your lifelong commitment to this noble profession.” The Governor-General spoke to the importance of a doctor’s relationship with their patients and their communities, asking them to remember these words of advice: “Always infuse in your practice with empathy, patience, respect, selflessness, and integrity to guide you when faced with a dilemma.”
“Your white coat is symbolic,” said Her Excellency. “It is symbolic because it represents your lifelong commitment to this noble profession.”
The ceremony's keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Cartwright is an alumnus of Trinity School of Medicine, graduating in 2018. Dr. Cartwright successfully completed clinical rotations in some of the most sought-after medical institutions in the United States, including the Cook County Trauma Center in Chicago, Illinois, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He concluded his final year of medical school serving in a research position at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Cartwright is currently a third year surgical resident at Atrium Health Navicent in Macon, Georgia and an assistant professor of surgery with Trinity.
Dr. Cartwright gave an inspirational speech, attributing much of his success to the professors, curriculum, and community that Trinity provided him. He noted that Trinity not only provided him the opportunity to fulfill his professional dream, but also the opportunity to meet his future spouse in another Trinity graduate. Dr. Paul Cartwright met his now-spouse, Dr. Brielle Cartwright, at their own matriculant class’ White Coat Ceremony. Dr. Brielle Cartwright currently works with Piedmont Hospital Psychiatry in addition to serving as Trinity’s Associate Dean of Clinical Clerkships in Warner Robins, Georgia.
“Trinity is a medical school that is different from the rest,” said Paul Cartwright. “We produce physicians that are inquisitive, smart, compassionate, well-intentioned, humble and caring.” He emphasized the comfort students can feel knowing that they are embarking on a journey that will open doors to successful futures and ultimately lead to saving lives. “This opportunity is once in a lifetime. Your degree from Trinity will allow you to triumph in any facility in the world.”
The event concluded with the students receiving their white coats from faculty and Dean Purcell congratulating the recipients, leaving them with these words of advice: “Be the professional the coat symbolizes. Wear it with pride and always remember the responsibility that comes with it.”