CUHK Hosts White Coat Inauguration Ceremony Medical Freshmen Pledge to Uphold Highest Standard of Medical Professionalism
The Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is committed to nurturing medical students with the highest standards of professional conduct and ethics. The Faculty held the third White Coat Inauguration Ceremony on 10 September, in which over 200 newly admitted medical students were conferred white coats and took the oath, witnessed by their parents, friends and teachers, in which they pledged to uphold the highest standards of the medical professionalism.
The white coat of a doctor is light in weight yet its symbolic value is heavy as it carries the expectations of society and represents the trust placed in medical practitioners by patients. The Faculty of Medicine hopes to remind students, through the ceremony, that by donning the white coat, their identity has changed and from thereon they promise to devote the best of their abilities to the care of the sick, the promotion of good health, and the alleviation of suffering.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Joseph J.Y. SUNG, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK and Mok Hing Yiu Professor of Medicine, congratulated students of the incoming class of 2016 on joining the medical profession. ‘The day when you put on the white coat, ladies and gentlemen, you are entering a very special profession. You are dealing with a very solemn job and you will have to handle life and death every day. I hope in the years to come, you will learn to reflect upon the meanings of life, family, success and failure, as well as your values. I hope you will honour this white coat as well as our medical profession.’
Doctors are facing more uncontrollable factors than ever, including terrorism, epidemics, and natural disasters. The Guest of Honour at the ceremony, Prof. Donald K. T. LI, President of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine gave advice to the students on how they should equip themselves in this difficult time. He said, ‘The role of doctors in general is evolving. As medical professionals, we need to be prepared and resilient when we are called upon to perform relief duties when disasters strike. In the coming six years, in addition to spending time on textbooks, please try to reach out to the community and know what’s happening around the world.’
Professor Li, joined by 30 other professors of the Faculty, put the white coats on some 200 medical freshmen one by one. Prof. FOK Tai-fai, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of CUHK and Choh-Ming Li Professor of Paediatrics. then led the students in taking the oath, pledging to maintaining the highest standards of professional conduct, and to care for patients and contribute to society.
Prof. Francis CHAN, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Choh-ming Li Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, CUHK concluded, ‘At this very beginning of your university life at the Faculty of Medicine, I urge you all to ask yourselves, “Why am I here today?” Once you have an answer, please remain committed to it. The road for doctors is never easy and it is not just a job but a lifetime commitment: to respect life, to give heartfelt service to patients and have a desire to acquire new skills and knowledge. Your teachers will always be with you to walk the medical path together.’
CUHK encourages students to learn medicine in real life. Starting from 2016/17 academic year, The Faculty will enhance learning experience like workshops, visits etc so that students get earlier exposure to medical environment and practice in real life and thus helping them better equip themselves to serve the patients.