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BUTARO: UGHE Students urged to uphold professional values as they start the clinical practices

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

In the past, no one thought that in Rwanda there could be an international university that can provide medical studies at the level of responding to the international matters in Health service delivery

To date, Rwanda’s Health sector has reached a new look, largely due to the ongoing investment in the health sector.

On Wednesday, December 8, 2021, when the University of Global Health Equity whose premises are located in rural Butaro in Burera District was holding the White Coat Ceremony for MBBS Class of 2025, various Health experts who attended the ceremony emphasized that upholding professional values is key to the success of medics who are in charge of public health matters.

Professor Emile Rwamasirabo

Speaking at the event, Professor Emile Rwamasirabo, Clinical Professor Urology at the University of Rwanda told UGHE students who are now going to be deployed for clinical practices that  “A good doctor is the one who is going to listen and examine the patients, record the history and use scientific knowledge to provide the needed treatment to the patient.’

Without insisting much on scientific qualities but reminding them about professionalism and humbleness, Professor Rwamasirabo again told the student that ‘You are going to become medical students in clinical practices, you’re going to meet doctors, nurses, leadership, support staff, etc, but remain humble to learn from others and grow.’

Medical behaviors and responding to the patients’ needs are some of the most pertinent points that was emphasized during this event where for instance it was noted that being a Medic alone is a privilege but it becomes the real privilege when it comes to quality care and recovery of patients.

“Stay humble, be teachable and always ask God to guide you. There is no feeling better than treating a patient who is in need of you.’ said Dr Claire Karekezi, one of the full Rwandan Neurosurgeon currently working at Rwanda Military Hospital.

Very often you will find that patients or caregivers complain that they are not receiving the best health services in some hospitals or clinics. However, the students were also told that better patient care could make him feel better. The example given is when the doctor listens to the patient he/she starts to feel comfortable or her/his feeling relaxed and this is also one of the steps towards healing for the patient.

Prof. Paul Farmer, UGHE’s Chancellor

On such cases Prof. Paul Farmer, UGHE’s Chancellor reminded that even if these students will be the ones to spend extra time speaking to the patients and their families, he insisted that “with care and smile as they empathize with them and learn from them, such qualities are gifts that are offered to patients in an indirect manner.

Prof. Farmer said that ‘Time, sympathy and understanding must be the best qualities you uphold and the interest in humanity as medical doctors.’

The event was actually an opportunity to give advice to these UGHE students. Maybe back to the Rwandese Dr. Claire Karekezi, at some point, told them that there are three things that need to be done based on her experience:

Among them she returned to the following: ‘Patience and perseverance, Consistency and hard work and never be afraid to accept challenges.

This was also commended by Professor Senait Fisseha, UGHE’s Board Member, and member of UGHE African Advisory Board where she also called on the students to make sure that there is no injustice in the medical profession wherever they will be.

She said “”The injustice that you notice in your own communities are microcosms of injustice on a global scale. But for clinical medicine, global health is about justice and equity and that’s what you will uphold.”

In addition to the fact that these students have been sworn in that they will fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with their professional standards, they also commended those who contributed to the existence of the University of Global Health Equity at the forefront Prof. Agnes Binagwaho who is the Vice Chancellor of the UGHE and Mrs. Jeannette Kagame who have continued to support the activities of the University and to ensure that Rwandans live a healthy life through various programs aimed at improving the quality of life among the country’s citizens.

Also special gratitude was sent to the Rwandan government, the Ministry of Education, UGHE leadership, department heads, visiting faculties, and the administration for their contributions in the establishment of a strong global Health Equity University that is serving not only Rwanda, but also the whole continent.

Prof. Agnes Binagwaho

‘We are looking forward to the change you will make in the future in the global health sector.’ Said Prof. Binagwaho

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students, and was created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993. During the ceremony, a white coat is placed on each student’s shoulders and often the Hippocratic Oath is recited, signifying their entrance into the medical profession.

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