Third-year medical students participate in recommitment to medicine ceremony

June 14, 2022

Two students laugh while at a recommitment to medicine ceremony recommitment to medicine ce

Before entering their chosen healthcare institutions as medical staff for the first time, third-year medical students recommitted to ethical practice and holistic care during a ceremony at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine.

Interim Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Renu Boatright acted as the master of ceremony. Phillip Boiselle, dean of the School of Medicine, delivered opening remarks.

“We place an emphasis on patient-centered care, a model of care that is responsive to individual preferences, needs and values. Importantly, our focus challenges us to think more broadly of all patients, especially those most vulnerable. This means fostering equitable health care for all communities,” said Boiselle.

He highlighted the acronym CARES as a way for students to reflect on this: Collaboration, compassion, altruism, respect, resilience and empathy.

“As you put on your white coats today and each day moving forward, cloak yourself in the CARES attributes and intentionally embody them toward patients, peers and the communities you serve,” said Boiselle.

Garrett Garbo, MD ’23, served as the student speaker for the ceremony. His thoughtful reflection after his first year working in a medical institution illustrated the joyous and painful path doctors traverse. He shared the purpose and elation he felt upon seeing a fully recovered patient after holding her hand while she received anesthesia before surgery. He then detailed his sorrow after holding another patient’s hand before surgery, a procedure the individual never awoke from.

“Millions of doctors made it through this rotation, and you can too. The best things in life are often the most difficult. Remind yourself of power you do have and what you can control. Embrace time with patients before you are overwhelmed with tasks as an intern,” said Garbo. “My second year taught me how much can go wrong with the human body. Realize it’s OK to be unprepared and to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Everyone around you is experiencing the same thing.”

Assistant Dean for Simulation Listy Thomas gave the ceremony’s keynote address. She discussed her often trying experiences in a litany of medical institutions as she balanced her personal life and familial responsibilities, and how she wavered in her “why” of being a doctor. She cites joining the Netter School of Medicine as a sea change.

“What saved me from that near burnout, that desperation, was the Netter students. The ability of this generation to question the status quo, and the [commitment] to transform the culture of medicine has inspired me,” said Thomas. “This is a legacy you will become part of. Moving into the sphere of being upperclassmen comes with great responsibilities and great challenges. When you lean into your challenges, you become stronger.”

She encouraged mental preparation and taking advantage of peer camaraderie to the third-year students.

“Right now, you are at maximum potential, you have the foundational knowledge. But there will be interferences. What are those interferences? Try to know about them ahead of time and plan so you’re not reacting but you’re prepared,” said Thomas. “But you can’t fix every interference. The more we lean into each other and build each other up, we raise the bar where the starting point is. You should share power with each other and those around you. No harm will ever come from raising each other up.”

The students were then cloaked in their white coats by their professors. Together, the students and faculty recited the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac Physician’s Pledge, a rendition of the Hippocratic Oath.

Lyuba Konopasek, senior associate dean of medical education, concluded the recommitment ceremony.

“The white coat is truly a powerful symbol. It defines us, unites us, gives us authority and signifies our duty and expertise. Never let your white coat become a wall between you and your patients. Wear the coat wisely, with humility and courage,” said Konopasek.

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