The School of Medical Sciences of the University of Cape Coast (UCCSMS) held its 11th White Coat Ceremony with a call on clinical students to refrain from sharing patients’ information in the public space.
“Desist from presenting your skills to impress friends, peers and other associates because medicine practising is a calling and not a business.”
Dr Divine Banyubala, Acting Registrar of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, who gave the advice, noted that young doctors might be tempted to share some patient information on a particular procedure they assisted on social media to colleagues and friends.
He, however, noted that social media could not guarantee confidentiality irrespective of the privacy settings used and urged the clinical students to be guided by the fundamental legal and ethical principles.
A total of 111 students made up of 70 regular students and 41 Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) students were robed with the white coat.
The White Coat Ceremony is a ritual in Medical School that involved formal robing of students in a doctor’s traditional wear; the white coat.
It is reserved for students who have gone through the pre-clinical and are at the threshold of full clinical training.
They took the medical students’ oath which read in part; ‘we will practice medicine to the highest standards of conduct and seek what is best for patients without allowing greed or stinginess to corrupt us’.
Dr Banyubala noted that issues of medical privacy and confidentiality were a major concern for the Medical and Dental Council to guide the medical profession and protect the public.
“So learn to maintain boundaries…Remember that once information is published on social media sites. You may never be able to control what others do with it,” he added.
Dr Banyubala admonished them to demonstrate a high standard of behaviour at all times to justify the public trust reposed in them, saying, the medical profession was the most trusted.
Prof Francisca Edu-Buandoh, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UCC, described the year’s ceremony as symbolic because of the high numbers presented since the establishment of the UCCSMS.
She admonished the students to wear their white coat with humility and dignity, saying the White Coat instilled confidence and trust in patients.
Prof Edu-Buandoh highlighted some challenges confronting UCCSMS to
Include infrastructure and called on stakeholders, government agencies, corporate institutions and individual benefactors to partner the university to continue to train the best doctors for quality healthcare delivery in the country.
Prof. Martins Ekor, Provost, College of Health and Allied Sciences said, the curricula of UCCSMS were built on commitment, interdisciplinary inquiry, international understanding, interactive teaching, research and creative endeavours, practical application, and social responsibility towards all communities.