The Aga Khan University Medical College, East Africa held its first-ever White Coat Ceremony for its inaugural class of undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) programme.
The White Coat ceremony is a rite of passage welcoming new medical students into the medical profession. As medical students, they are now bound by the same professional ethics and commitments that bind all physicians. The ceremony instills in them the virtues of altruism, responsibility, duty, honour, respect and compassion.
The Chief Guest at the ceremony, Dr Simon Kigondu, President & CEO, Kenya Medical Association said, “The white coat ceremony is the first of many ceremonies in this field of training of medical doctors. It serves to initiate you into the field of medicine. The knowledge that you will gain as an undergraduate medical student, is the knowledge that you will use as a medical practitioner for the rest of your life. Therefore, you must be grounded in the basics of medicine. It's your time to contribute to the next level of medicine by incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning into your medical training from the onset."
The six-year degree programme is designed to prepare medical doctors who are well-grounded with knowledge, competencies and skills in humanities, social sciences and medical sciences. The MBChB degree programme is based on the principles of adult learning and incorporates concepts of best evidence-based learning in medical education.
“Today, with the white coat ceremony, you are becoming part of the community of the medical profession. This is a community that is bound by certain values, traditions and practices. If successful in this journey, you will be the captains of the ship of health, leaders in alleviating the suffering of humans. You will be the holders of humanity's destiny. You will be the frontline warriors carrying the fate of humanity in your hands and minds. In history, you will be remembered for being pioneers of this great Medical College, East Africa, the bright gem that will impact the healthcare systems globally," said Professor Lukoye Atwoli, Dean at AKU's Medical College, East Africa.
During the ceremony, a white coat was placed on each student's shoulders and dressed by the Dean, Associate Deans and members of the faculty. Thereafter, the chief guest, Dr Kigondu led the students to recite the Hippocratic Oath, officially signifying their entrance into the medical profession.
Robert Kalama, an MBChB student said, “To me, the white coat ceremony carries a powerful symbol for this noble profession and it means that I have finally started my journey to become a medical doctor which has always been my dream."
“The white coat ceremony means that I have started my lifelong journey as a medical doctor and I will always strive to serve humanity with the best of my knowledge and abilities. I can't wait to begin this fulfilling journey ahead. I want to make it worthwhile and memorable," said Sharon Nzau, an MBChB student.
The inaugural class of 61 students for the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) programme, is a great milestone for AKU Medical College, East Africa, which has been offering postgraduate programmes in medicine since 2004.
Watch the ceremony highlights here.