A brand new class of prospective doctors officially began their medical education as part of St. George’s University’s Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP) in Newcastle, UK on August 15. The incoming students in the UK, who represent 12 countries, took their Oaths of Professional Conduct and donned white coats, symbolic of the professionalism and high standards of their calling, at the White Coat Ceremony held at Domain Hall on the campus of Northumbria University.
The evening’s keynote speaker, Dr. Gerard Corcoran, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute, Liverpool, gave a brilliant address in which he urged the students to be a part of achieving universal health care. “Universal healthcare is far from being achieved, but you have a chance to affect this. Patient focused care is compassionate care, and how we care for our dying is a monitor of the quality of our health service and our society,” he said. “The relationship between a patient and a doctor is both strong and fragile. Become good listeners and good explainers.”
Dr. Yon Chong, SGUSOM MPH’11, the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, encouraged the students to take full advantage of the global experiences SGU offers. She shared about her own journey of medical education in which she embraced every global opportunity open to her, including a practicum in Tanzania, selectives in Honduras and trips to Copenhagen, Montreal and Jakarta with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA).
Guest of Honor at the ceremony, Baroness Howells of St. David’s, OBE, President of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) and the only Grenadian in the House of Lords, also greeted the students. She exhorted them to “play a little and work very hard,” encouraging them to enjoy their host countries while making their home countries proud.
The Global Scholars are part of SGU School of Medicine’s incoming class for Fall 2014 who together represent 41 countries; they will study in the UK for one year before joining their classmates in Grenada for the completion of the basic sciences curriculum.