University of Health and Allied Sciences, for the second year in a row, held a joint White Coat Ceremony on March 1, 2023, to induct 71 medical and 39 pharmacy students into their clinical years. Prof. Theophilus C. Fleischer, Acting Dean of the School of Pharmacy, in his welcome address, said, “This ceremony has become one that every student of pharmacy and medicine looks forward to with a deep sense of pride and fulfillment.”
The students have successfully completed their pre-clinical years and are about to start their two-year clinical training. He advised them to commit themselves to their studies and training in order to acquire all the knowledge, skills and requisite attitude to become good health professionals, and congratulated students and faculty for a good job done.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Lydia Aziato, who chaired the ceremony, said UHAS students are readily exposed to clinical work through the university’s flagship vocational training programme. She said donning of the white coat is significant in the African context where “white is a symbol of purity, joy and victory.” In that regard, these students have been victorious since they started the programme with others who did not make it this far.
With regards to their respective professions, the white coat is also a mark of professionalism and compassion. She entreated the students to observe ethical principles as health care professionals.
Dr. Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, former Director of Technical Coordination at the Ministry of Health, was the Guest Speaker and spoke on the theme, “Ethical Responsibilities of Physicians and Pharmacists”. She said the joint ceremony for medical and pharmacy students is unique to UHAS and applauded management for building the teams.
Delivering on the theme, she informed the students that their professions are “governed by a number of codes of ethics that they must abide by in order to succeed.” She reviewed some fundamental moral principles that tie them together as professionals, such as “according the same respect and honor to those ahead of you”, “serving humanity is the primary goal” of their vocation, “cultivating the spirit of cooperation and not competition with other health professionals, upholding ethical medical standards, and keeping medical records of patients confidential.”
The Guest Speaker also urged the students to stay abreast of digitization through the use of electronic health systems by most hospitals, and also to do well to avoid any lawsuits as a result of not performing due diligence.
Dr. Divine Ndonbi Banyubala, Registrar of Ghana Medical and Dental Council administered the oath to students of medicine while Pharmacist Gabriel Essilfie Essel, Volta Regional Manager of the Pharmacy Council, administered the oath to students of pharmacy.