The Trinity School of Medicine 2017 May-term white coat ceremony was held on campus last week. Guests included the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Frederick Ballantyne, members of Trinity’s board of trustees, family and friends of the newly matriculated medical students, and faculty and staff.
Presiding on the ceremony was Trinity's dean, Dr. Linda Adkinson, who commended the twenty-six students on their achievement thus far and on being selected for the May term. Keith Hollers, director of student services, gave a very enthusiastic and warm welcome to the class, noting they were the 27th group to start at Trinity and assured the students that, “Everyone here is going to work very hard to give you every opportunity to be successful." He introduced a video presentation by Trinity's 2016 graduates, which gave incoming students insight on the next few years: preparing to begin school, forming friendships, the study of medicine, balancing work and play, making a difference on the island, opportunities for outreach, and the hard work of success.
Shortly after, Dean Adkison introduced the ceremony's keynote speaker, Dr. Rosalind Ambrose. Dr. Ambrose is a consultant radiologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, the chief of staff of the Caribbean Medical Imagining Center, the President of the SVG Medical Association, and the Chairperson of the National Accreditation Board.
After welcoming the students to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ambrose reminded them of the “brand new, special mission” that each was there to fulfill. She advised, “Your goal should really be, to become a good physician who maintains a quest for knowledge; one who shows compassion for patients and their loved ones in the clinical and social realms of life, to be a physician and a person that cares deeply about humanity.”
Dr. Ambrose acknowledged that the wearing of the white coat has been a symbol of the medical profession for many years, and still remains the element which most symbolizes the profession. She reminded the future doctors that being robed with the coat is not intended to transform them into physicians, but rather is a rite of passage that comes with academic and clinical challenges.
She added, “You will wear this white coat as an entitlement of trust, and you should embody a devotion to academic scholarship, intellectualism, understanding of human nature, good conscience, sense of confidentiality, professionalism and poise in your overall conduct, and symbolically, it should mold you to be that special individual.”
As she concluded her remarks, the conferring of white coats began. Dr. Frances Jack-Edwards, associate dean of admissions and dean of student affairs, called each student by name. They were fitted with their coats by Dr. Bernadette Scott, MD, interim assistant dean of assessment; Dr. Luliia Zhuravlova, MD, PhD, associate professor of anatomy; and Dr. Raju Panta, MBBS, MD, assistant professor of physiology – a small segment of the team of individuals who will support, guide and mentor the students over the next few years. Each student was them welcomed into the medical profession by Governor General, Sir Frederick Ballantyne.
The day concluded with a celebration for families and invited guests, with the students no doubt focused on their first day of class.