School of Medicine and Dentistry Organises Fifth White Coat Ceremony

The School of Medicine and Dentistry has organised its White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2021 at the new Examinations Hall, Charles Easemon Building Korle Bu. The

The Dean, Professor Margaret Lartey in her welcome address said the year 2018 White Coat Ceremony was the fifth to be held by the School. She urged the students to take the Ceremony serious because it was a very important milestone in their training as medical and dental students.

According to her, the White Coat Ceremony (WCC) is a relatively new ritual in some medicaldental and other health training schools that marks the student's transition from the study of preclinical sciences to clinical health sciences

The Vice-Dean, Dr. Francis Kwamin stated that the Ceremony was an important one in their journey to become medical doctors or dental surgeons. He indicated that prior to entering the current level of their studies, they were used to cadavers but that would be a thing of the past because they will be dealing with real human lives. He advised them to show appreciation to patients that will allow themselves to be used by these students for their studies. He continued that the Ceremony requires a change in attitude, behaviour and their general perception of life. He concluded that how the students will start this phase of their training will determine how they will end it.

The Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Rev. Professor Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi in his remarks congratulated the students on how far they have come in their studies. He advised the students to be committed to the tenets and ethics of the noble profession of medicine and dentistry in order not to bring the dignified name of the profession into disrepute. The Provost urged the students to continue to give their faculty the utmost respect so as to encourage the faculty to give off their very best to them. He reminded them that their training is by apprenticeship so they need to respect their faculty.

The Provost concluded by cautioning the students that the White Coat Ceremony does not change their status as students to that of medical doctors and dental surgeons. He added that they should not attempt to do any medical procedure they have not been instructed to do.

The Guest Speaker and Chairman of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, Professor Paul K. Nyame indicated that the students also fell under the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (Act 857), hence the need for them to behave professionally. He advised the students to constantly read the code of ethics of the profession in order not to engage in practices that have the potential to bring the name of the profession into disrepute.

He again advised the students to wear their white coats while on study clerking or studying as students. He noted that the wearing of the white coat on wards needed to be enforced by hospital authorities even when they have graduated as doctors and dental surgeons. According to him, patients feel reassured to see a doctor who turns out in a professional look.

The students in an interview were happy for how far they have come in their studies. They prayed that God will continue to protect and see them through their studies.

In all, a total of 181 students made up of 169 medical and 12 dental students took the oath of commitment at the ceremony. The faculty of the School cloaked the students in their first white coat as a symbol of the trust being bestowed upon them to carry on the noble profession of doctoring.

The White Coat Ceremony is considered as rite of passage for medical and dental students who have completed the preclinical sciences and are about to begin the clinical phase of their training.