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Posted 28 January 2010

White coats symbolise medical students' advance to clinical training

240 stage 4 medical students were “robed” with their white coats by clinical academics at a special ceremony at UCD.  According to Professor Bill Powderly, Dean of Medicine, the white coat symbolises not just the historical authority of the physician but moreover, the responsibility of physicians to put the interest of their patients first.

“Society gives us as doctors a unique privilege – a social contract in the form of a trust that is not given lightly.  It provides considerable status as part of that social contract and has a simple expectation in return: Do good for the health of the people you serve.” Professor Powderly told the 240 students receiving their white coats.

Although clinical education is introduced from d ay 1, t he presenting of the white coat at this stage signifies the students’ progression to the clinical stage of their medical education at UCD School of Medicine.

60 of the students will now be returning to Penang Medical College in Malaysia, where they will complete their clinical training.

The remainder will continue their education at UCD through the university’s six major Dublin teaching hospitals, the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, St. Vincent's University Hospital, the National Maternity Hospital, the Coombe Women's Hospital, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children and the Children's University Hospital at Temple Street.  Clinical training is also provided at a number of other affiliated hospitals and health care facilities around the country, including Midlands Regional Hospital - Tullamore, Wexford General Hospital, St. Columcille's Hospital Loughlinstown, the National Rehabilitation Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, Royal Hospital Donnybrook, and Mount Carmel. UCD also has an extensive primary care clinical training network for students.

Although today s tudents do not swear the traditional Hippocratic oath, according to Professor Powderly, they are expected to commit to a lifetime of medical education, to put the interests of patients before their own, to be tolerant, honest and compassionate.  “Medical students are bound by the same professional commitments that bind all doctors – medical confidentiality and working for the good of patients.” he said.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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White coats symbolise medical students advance to clinical training
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