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Student Clinician's Ceremony - 2002 Ceremony

FROM: SOM NEWS, September 2002

1st Annual Student Clinician's Ceremony Emphasizes Professionalism

One hundred and forty eight third-year students reaffirmed the meaning of professionalism at the Student Clinician's Ceremony held on July 1. The medical students received professionalism pins to wear on their white coats as a constant reminder of their duty to their patients and the profession. The first annual Student Clinician's Ceremony was meant to emphasize humanism as students learn to interact with patients in their third year of medical school.

According to Jack Gladstein, MD, associate dean for Student Affairs, “This was White Coat Ceremony Part II. After two hard years in the classroom, these students are about to enter the real work of medicine, exploring fields such as pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, OB, psychiatry and neurology. We wanted to give them something to think about as they enter the most exciting part of their medical school career.”

Dean Wilson greeted the students with the reminder that “behind every disease is a patient, and you must pay attention to that patient.” Frank M. Calia, MD, MACP, vice dean, in his welcome address reminded students that “medicine is about the care of the sick and preventing disease. You must subordinate your needs to the needs of the patient.”

Guest speaker Thomas P. O’Toole, MD, national program officer of the Open Society Institute Program on Medicine as a Profession, invited the group to embrace professionalism. He exhorted the students to act professionally while being attuned to the multicultural and multifaceted problems their patients face. “You are entering a brave new world of medicine, health, and healthcare,” he said, “and you must think of all three in separate veins. You must have the need and the license to question where you are and what you are doing. Just because it has always been done one way, doesn’t mean you must continue to do it the same way, especially if it's wrong.”

The ceremony was followed by two days of clinical skills workshops and small group discussion on actual cases of professionalism issues.

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