Last week, Trinity School of Medicine held its December 2017 5th Term Ceremony. The evening event, attended by faculty, staff, friends, and family, many of whom traveled far from home, commemorates the transition from basic sciences to clinical rotations. It also represents a departure from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, sending students on to complete their training in Baltimore, Maryland.
The student address was given by David Eapen. Eapen noted in his remarks, “I could go on at length about how amazing everything and everyone is, and fortunate we are to have made it this far.” He continued, "I believe, however, that any successful transition in your life is built on a foundation of introspection and self-challenge."
David went on to highlight the changes each student experienced as they matured through the process of study; interactions with colleagues, faculty, and staff; and doctors and patients during their time at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. He reminded his colleagues that the patients in their rotations would see their white coats and assume they are there to help, that through that comes the responsibility to always do so, within the scope of their training and ability. He encouraged to go into the USMLE and subsequent rotations with resolve as each is talented, intelligent and will succeed through focusing on always doing what is right for the patient.
Following David's student address, faculty member Dr. Lina Diaz took the podium as featured speaker. She then made an inspiring announcement, “It is a source of pride for me to tell you that, your performance in the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) of Anatomy, places you among the top three classes in the history of Trinity School of Medicine, and that your performance in the 2nd Comprehensive Basic Science Exam, places you as one of the best two groups in the history of the school.” She reminded the students that when they started at Trinity in the summer of 2016, they were welcomed with the White Coat Ceremony. “Today,” she continued, “you have finished the first stage of the journey towards life as a physicians and I’m sure you are not the same person as when you arrived.”
Dr. Diaz told them that at Trinity, they had been exposed to what the white coat means as they not only learned the basic sciences elements of the curriculum, but also a real ethical and behavioral approach about the physician life through the school's heavy clinical component. She noted, “You learned that the white coat does not mean privileges; but sacrifice, dedication, and compassion. Soon, in your clerkship, you’ll also see that there is no glamour in this profession, but I can assure you that it is very rewarding.” She told them to remember that the study was far from over. That this next step, “Means a new commitment on your end. Now, you have to study harder than before to be ready to sit for the USMLE Step 1 exam and continue with your exceptionally good results.”
At the students' request, Dr. Diaz offered a story from her own time as a clinical student. In her first clerkship, internal medicine, she had what she described as her toughest teacher. “With each new patient, he asked us the presumptive diagnosis and why we believed that this was correct. He was forcing us to apply our knowledge immediately and with confidence.” Noting that through committing to a conclusion publicly, they learned to trust their growing skill as best they could, and take part in the interactive elements of diagnostics with a keen, firsthand awareness of the stakes.
Dr. Adkison was keen to note to family and friends, the rigorous schedule that the students had before them, starting with the USMLE Step-1 exam, and on into clinical rotations, assuring them that, "They [the coming years] are very demanding, but these students of ours will love every minute of it.”
As is always the case, we at Trinity School of Medicine could not be more proud of our student body, and wish this newly minted group of clinical students the best in the challenges and successes laid out before them.
Scroll on for more photos. (Full photography credit to Trinity 2nd term student Ameer Shazley.)