Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) held a White Coat Ceremony welcoming 94 new students in the entering class of Fall 2013, on Friday, September 6 at the New Building Auditorium on campus. This writes The Daily Herald. The event also featured the induction of 13 fifth semester medical students within the Alpha Omega Phi Honour and Service Society. These students’ eligibility includes completion of a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 86.0 or higher and participation in at least four service projects within the community.
SUSOM Dean James Lewis held the welcoming remarks introducing the faculty. He stressed the ethical and social service aspects of the profession and the role of a competencies based education that looks at the trained professional’s character, compassion and integrity not only at the test score.
Dr. Ramona Dumitrescu held the induction ceremony noting that in addition to achieving high academic excellence the selected students embody the values promoted by the university as befitting the medical profession sought by the students. She spoke of the honour society’s goal as a nonprofit organization that promotes public health through community awareness and educational activities as well as community service in partnerships with local stakeholders. She noted the positive impact of the extra-curricular involvement and charity work accomplished by the students who served as teaching assistants, academic mentors, were involved in various student clubs, volunteered in the SUSOM organized Saba Health Fairs or the Global Health Fairs and Seminars. Many of them participated in community service efforts organized by the Saba Lions Club and the Body, Mind and Spirit Foundation. The Honor Society members inducted last semester succeeded through tireless efforts to collect the largest student fundraising yet. They held sales of SUSOM-logo sweaters and received the support of the university as well as that of the Island Communication Services who waved half of the sweaters’ shipping costs. The Honor Society made a donation of US $1,000 to the Saba Lions Club. Club President Glenn Holm and former club treasurer Rudolph Hassell were present to receive the donation. The society made a second donation of US $1,000 to the Saba Foundation for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SabaFPCA), gratefully received by Audrey Eyre. Hon. Henry C. Every Old Age Home Director Roseta Riley received the third donation of US $500 on behalf of the institution’s elderly residents.
During the induction each student shared words of advice, encouragement and inspiration to the incoming class students. Dr. Pranaya Mishra held a speech about the significance of the “White Coat Ceremony” followed by a message to the incoming class held by President of the Medical Student Association Ziad Hindi. He shared a poignant motivational poem written during the challenging times experienced within the intense training programme. Dr. Himadri Roy and Dr. Ralph Crum officiated the signing of the honour pledge and the donning of white coasts. Dr. Crum led the group in the recitation of the honour pledge. It underscores that SUSOM students are held to the highest standards of conduct and ethics. Student Youssef Soliman invited incoming students and attending family members to the Mentor-Mentee Reception that followed the ceremony.