The Catalyst

Student clinician ceremony recognizes humanism

By Monica Fabunan
Public Relations

The proverb “Treat others the way you would want to be treated” isn’t only heard in school but it also can be very significant in a doctor’s office. As College of Medicine students waited to obtain their new white coats at the student clinician ceremony held June 28, they listened to different doctors remind them to treat patients how they would want to be treated.

Those who were inducted into the Paul B. Underwood, M.D., Chapter of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society also were recognized.

Medical students Vanessa Antoine, left, and Obaidullah Assem receive their coats as part of a combined third-year medical class white coat ceremony marking their transition to patient care.
Medical students Vanessa Antoine, left, and Obaidullah Assem receive their coats as part of a combined third-year medical class white coat ceremony marking their transition to patient care.

Established in 1998, Arnold P. Gold founded the nonprofit organization that promotes kindheartedness within science called the Gold Foundation. The foundation’s duty is to encourage doctors to uphold compassion and care for their patients.

In 2005, MUSC was the 48th medical school in the United States to acquire a Gold Humanism Honor Society. The society is composed of third- and fourth-year students, nominated by their peers, who have demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.

“Would you prefer to be managed by the most intelligent doctor in the class that only spits out facts or do you want to be managed by a doctor who is well trained and will treat you like a human? If you reverse the role, you’ll immediately understand why humanism is so very important,” said Underwood, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and associate dean of admissions. “Put yourself in the patient’s shoes. Treat them as humans. How do you simplify the illness they have? Don’t just have technical skills. Treat people with humanism.”

The student clinician ceremony is designed to provide guidance, information and support as medical students transition into their clinical years.

Humanistic values include integrity, excellence in clinical experience, compassion, altruism, respect, empathy and service.

The students were reminded to keep these values in mind during their rotations with different departments.

Also during this ceremony, third-year students nominated 12 fellow students to be inducted into the Paul B. Underwood chapter of the Gold Humanism Society as well as six residents from different MUSC departments for the Humanism and Excellence in Teaching awards.

Third-year medical students receive a new white coat with an MUSC patch on the sleeve to mark the transition from classroom learning to clinical learning in which they interact more with patients. 

“I expect third year to be busy but rewarding because we will finally be interacting with real patients,” said third-year medical student John Hohenberger. “Because I am undecided about what specialty I want to pursue, I don't have one specific rotation that I am looking forward to more than the others. I'm looking forward to all of them.”

The ceremony ended with the recitation of the oath where students and faculty members promise to serve others with respect, compassion and humility as they honor the college’s history and service to others.

August 14, 2013
 
 
 

© 2013  Medical University of South Carolina | Disclaimer