The College of Health Sciences (CHS) of the University of Ghana (UG) has inducted 187 students into the School of Medicine and Dentistry with a call on them to adopt an attitude of service in their quest to become health professionals.
The students have successfully completed a three-year training in the pre-clinical sciences such as child health, medicine and gynaecology which involved few practical work with dummies, cadavas and other artificial designs.
This clinical phase of the training will involve a face-to-face encounter with patients and a much more practical work in some teaching hospitals including the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for the remaining three years of their programme.
The migration from the foundation stage to the practical stage was marked with “The coat-wearing ceremony” at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital last Tuesday during which the students donned white coats usually worn by doctors on duty.
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The students were taught how to wear the coats and were also taken through some ethical demands of the profession.
They also swore an oath to declare their willingness to abide by the principles and statues enshrined in the code of ethics that governed their field of study.
You are not doctors yet
Addressing the students at the function, the provost of the CHS, Professor Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi, cautioned the students that “the wearing of the white coat does not in any way change your student status. You are not doctors so do not attempt to engage in any medical procedure that you have not been instructed to do,” he said.
“This profession will demand you to sacrifice your personal joy for the public good. It is important to note that when people entrust their bodies into your hands, you have to respect them in return by keeping their medical information confidential,” he added.
For his part, the Chairman of the Medical and Dental Council, Professor Paul K. Nyame, indicated that medical trainees also fell under the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (Act 857), hence the need for them to behave professionally.
He advised them to constantly read the code of ethics of the profession in order not to engage in practices that had the potential to bring the image of the profession into disrepute.
In an interview, some students expressed delight for having reached an important stage of their studies which they said demanded a lot of sacrifice, dedication and will power to succeed.