A joint White Coat ceremony has been held for students of the Schools of Medicine, and Pharmacy of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS).
The ceremony passes students into clinical apprenticeship, which is a significant milestone in the journey to the medical profession, and saw 71 level 400 students from the School of Medicine, and 39 level 500 from the School of Pharmacy, initiated.
The School of Medicine included students pursuing bachelors in Medicine, and Surgery, and the students were distributed among ten mentors who would guide field development.
The symbolic donning of the white coat, and the hippocratic oaths were undertaken amid cheers from colleagues and families who thronged the Cedi Auditorium to celebrate the mileage.
Professor Lydia Aziato, Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University, who chaired the ceremony, urged the students to exude confidence as the University, with its vocational skills development outlook, was “already” exposed to clinical work.
She said trainees need to be confident to be able to mount the task ahead, and must build up strength to muster the remainder of the courses.
Prof Aziato congratulated the schools for their achievements and asked the students to consider the white overgarment’s symbolism with psychological value, and work with compassion to secure trust from clients.
“Within the Ghanaian context most of our patients do not ask questions.
“They trust that you know best,” she said, advising the students to always work under superior guidance and the tenets of the profession, noting, “ethical principles are very important throughout the health professional’s career”.
Divine Banyubala, Registrar at the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, who administered the oaths for students of the School of Medicine, asked them to work within their responsibilities and limitations and not take responsibilities beyond their competence.
He welcomed them to the profession, and advised them to look out for one another as they sojourned the burdening world of real time practice.
Dr. Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, a former Director of Technical Coordination at the Ministry of Health, and who was Guest Speaker, said, “This white coat should serve as a reminder to conduct our lives and engage in your artistic endeavours with integrity and honour.” She said the joint ceremony would help build teamwork and strengthen cooperation among the two major health professional classes.
Speaking on the topic “Ethical Responsibilities of Physicians and Pharmacists”, Dr. Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt said trainees should hold up ethics as the key to professionalism in the high risk endeavour.
“Wherever your profession takes you, and I will encourage each and every one of you to cultivate a spirit of cooperation and not competition,” she said while underscoring the need for humility in ensuring continuous learning.
Dr Gyansa-Lutterodt, encouraged students to strive to remain competent within the ever-transforming industry, and also work to reduce errors in an era of information avalanche and an overly interactive society.