The A.M. Dogliotti School of Medicine within the College of Health Sciences, University of Liberia (UL), has initiated 36 first-year medical students.
The White Coat ceremony for the first-year students with the class name ‘Medicas Manus’ (Healing Hands), was held Saturday, January 7, 2023, in the auditorium of the Medical School in Congo Town.
Families and friends of the initiated students, UL authorities, and officials in the medical field graced the ceremony.
Delivering the keynote address at the ceremony, the Chief Medical Officer of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center; Dr. Sia Watta Camanor, implored the students to serve more as they learn more, and they will earn more.
“𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴, 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦, 𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘱𝘵 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦-𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘵𝘺𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘴𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘯𝘴,” said Dr. Camanor.
She encouraged the initiated students to make their patients comfortable because they have many concerns, they are anxious, and they are looking for solutions.
“𝘉𝘦 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥, 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 … 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮, 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮,” she said.
The JFK Chief Medical Officer stated that medical practitioners are there to support patients and their families, especially when they sometimes have a difficult diagnosis.
“𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑙𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑟, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑡, 𝑖𝑠 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑝𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑡. 𝑅𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑟 ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑘 𝑏𝑎𝑑 𝑛𝑒𝑤𝑠,” said Dr. Camanor.
“Hold their hand when they are going through pain; hold their hand when they are …. to answer the call … that we will all have to answer one day,”
She noted that when the Master of the universe calls patients home and there’s nothing more that can be done medically, you need to be able to hold their hands.
Mrs. Fatee Ziegler, Executive Assistant, College of Health Sciences, told the newly inducted class that it’s a privilege to be in Medical School now without paying any money.
She implored the class not to take the opportunity for granted, saying in other countries, medical students pay a lot of money for their education.
“𝑆𝑜, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑚 𝑜𝑓 𝑓𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑣𝑒𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑚 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔. 𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑙𝑒𝑔𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑙 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑦. 𝐷𝑜𝑛’𝑡 [𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟] 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑙𝑒𝑔𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑,” said Madam Ziegler.
She said it’s her wish that the 36 students will reach the senior class and will do the Oath and Honor.
Dr. Lawrence Sherman, Dean of A.M. Dogliotti School of Medicine, told the initiates that since they have decided to attend medical school, it’s their responsibility to leave from there as medical doctors.
“We are here to encourage you, [and] give you all the support you need. Don’t let everything that has been said here [put fear] in you,” he said.
Regardless of all the problems that the initiates may have outside, Dr. Sherman said their one task in this life now is to succeed as medical doctors.
The president of the Liberia Medical Students Association (LMSA), Madam Patricia Gray admonished the newly initiated students that with self-discipline, anything is possible.
She urged them to create innovative ways in their studies, and go beyond just reading their materials.
She also urged the students to be focused, read smartly, and know what they want to achieve at a time.
Student Gray thanked the Administration of the Medical School for the availability of a bus to commute students and instructors between Fendall and the Medical School for their clinical studies.
She however encouraged the Administration to give support for electricity to enable students to study and do their best.
On behalf of the initiated students, Mr. Benjamin Bedell, Jr., president of the Medicas Manus class, thanked the Administration and the instructors for preparing the class for its journey in the medical profession.