Second-year School of Medicine students stood before family, friends and faculty and vowed to “care for [their] patients, improve their health, and enhance their quality of life” by pursuing ideals as caregivers, listeners, lifelong learners, teachers, colleagues, persons and members of the community. They made this vow on Tuesday, April 5, at their Second-Year Oath Ceremony, the formal event that marks their educational transition from the classroom to the clinic. “Our ceremony here recognizes in a formal and ceremonial way the totality of the vocation to which these students are called,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “It has evolved to meet the particular humanity that makes this medical school a singular place. I am proud to be a part of it and am humbled by the energy and grace each second-year class invests in their declaration of their commitment.” “As I witness you taking your oath, I will be both proud and overwhelmingly optimistic about our future,” said Terence R. Flotte, dean of the School of Medicine, provost and executive deputy chancellor, in his reflections. “Much is expected from you, but I every confidence that you will exceed all of our expectations.” The ceremony included an address by Henri Cuénoud, MD, associate professor of medicine, who was chosen by the class as the keynote speaker. He joked that the oath, written by the students themselves, should have included one more line: As a member of the Class of 2013, I will become a primary care physician. “As of July 1, you are going to be demoted,” he said, referring to the status of a third-year medical student as the most junior member of a clinical care team. “You are going to be at the bottom of the ladder. I would tell you this is the best time to lay low. You will have more time to talk to patients . . . I have no doubt that in a few years you will be on this stage yourself.” In a departure from recent tradition, before the oath, members of the class came up to the stage individually to be helped into their white coats, echoing UMMS’ first-ever White Coat Ceremony held last fall at Convocation for first-year students. Chancellor Collins remarked that the White Coat Ceremony was so well received that the second-year class also wanted to take part in this symbolic gesture. Each student picked an important person in his or her life to be on stage to help put on the coat and receive a hug. Stuart P. Murray and David H. Wang, co-presidents of the Class of 2013 Student Body Committee, presented Outstanding Medical Educator Awards to Vijay Vanguri, MD, instructor in pathology; Krista S. Johansen, MD, instructor in pathology and cell biology; Anne M. Gilroy, MA, associate professor of surgery and cell biology; Susan B. Gagliardi, PhD, professor of cell biology and neurology; and John M. Cooke, PhD, associate professor of cell biology.
View a slideshow of the 2011 Second-Year Oath ceremony
Related Story: Second-year medical students commit to working ‘for the benefit of patients’