Vol. 12 No. 9 - April, 2010

Second-year medical students commit to working ‘for the benefit of patients’

oath
John Gillooly, PEI
Members of the SOM class of 2012 recited an oath, which they wrote as a group, that affirmed thier commitment to work for the benefit of patients

Members of the School of Medicine’s Class of 2012 recited an oath they wrote themselves, vowing to uphold the principles of their profession as they prepare to embark on their clinical education. The second-year students stood before family, friends and faculty members at a special ceremony at Mechanics Hall on Thursday, April 8, and pledged to “exemplify the skill, competence and character expected of physicians. And above all, we will honor this privilege and embrace this role with humility, integrity and reverence for life.”

Speaker Vijay Vanguri, MD, an instructor of pathology at UMass Medical School and attending pathologist at UMass Memorial Medical Center, counseled the students to meet their patients half way as they reach out to make personal connections.

“The truth is that patients are looking for much more than competence in a patient-physician relationship. Finding that common ground allows patients to relate to you and allows them feel comfortable in your care,” said Dr. Vanguri, who was chosen to speak by members of the class.

Student speaker Gregory Orlowski said Vanguri was chosen not just because he was a good pathology teacher. “We chose him because he taught us all to be better physicians through commitment, attention to detail and a compassionate spirit,” Orlowski said.

“Through this ceremony then, we acknowledge publicly your profound responsibility to patients in the coming years, while also bearing witness to your declaration of commitment to the practice of medicine,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “It is wonderful that we join together tonight to confirm these commitments.”

See additional images from the event.

Class of 2012 Second-Year Oath


We, the members of the Class of 2012, in the presence of family, friends, professors and colleagues, dedicate ourselves to the following principles.

For the benefit of my patients:
I will listen to them with compassion and empathy
I will act in their best interest and care for them as I would my own family
I will educate to empower them so that they can take an active role in determining the course of their own care
I will respect their individuality by remaining cognizant of their unique circumstances, goals and wishes so that I may provide the treatment and counsel they need
For the benefit of my patients:
I will care for all of them fairly and equally
I will advocate for better care and provide a voice for the voiceless
I will meet the complexity of biology and humanity with humility, utilizing science and the art of compassion to their fullest extent
For the benefit of my patients:
I will acknowledge my mistakes and learn from them
I will be honest and sincere in both my personal and professional pursuits
I will remain curious and seek to learn, integrate and scrutinize new knowledge
I will work together with my colleagues and call on others whose skills are different from my own
I will strive to provide care that minimizes the harm to them as I work toward the alleviation of suffering
We will exemplify the skill, competence and character expected of physicians. And above all, we will honor this privilege and embrace this role with humility, integrity and reverence for life