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Third-Year Medical Students Celebrate Annual Student Clinician Ceremony

Third year students pin professionalism pins on each other

The annual Student Clinician Ceremony was held in Davidge Hall recently, to formally welcome the third-year medical students to their clinical rotations. As they were just about to start their third year the Class of 2019 gathered to hear inspirational messages from their mentors, pin professionalism pins on each other, and recite the Student Clinician Oath to symbolize their transition from classroom learning to patient care.

In their rotations, students begin seeing patients alongside doctors and residents as they gain experience in a variety of primary care and medical specialties. The Student Clinician’s Ceremony aims to address some of the anxiety felt by students entering this transitional period by providing insight and discussing fears and expectations.

During the ceremony, students were given professionalism pins to wear on their white coats as a constant reminder of their duty to their patients and their profession and agree to follow the Charter on Professionalism. David Gens, MD, FACS, was chosen by the University of Maryland School of Medicine Gold Humanism Society to be this year’s keynote speaker. “You’re about to start this fantastic journey that is going to teach you what you’re doing in the future,” he said. “This is going to help you decide what you want to do. Some of you already know the specialty you want, but please keep an open mind, because you never know, things might change. So have an open mind.”

Dr. Gans also offered advice on what to do about the nervousness that comes from taking care of patients for the first time. “Get over it!” he declared. “If you’re nervous, patients will know you’re nervous. They can read you. Be confident.”

E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, also addressed the students. “During your third year of medical school, there is an emphasis on humanism, as you learn to interact with patients. However, remember that you, too, may be patients someday, and it will be vital to you to keep in mind this perspective when you are counseling and, perhaps, comforting your patients,” he told the students. “In order for you to be the very best doctor you can be, you need to see their perspective. That is why it is essential to develop your skills as a clinician until it becomes instinctive. Don’t allow the technology that was designed to assist with the quality of patient care to undermine the sanctity of the physician/patient relationship.”

The ceremony was followed by two days of clinical skills workshops and small group discussions about professionalism issues.

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