Governor General His Excellency the Most Hon. Cornelius A. Smith told graduates of the University of the West Indies School of Clinical Medicine and Research, The Bahamas, that their success is the result of the commitment and sacrifices of the Bahamian people. “Translated into financial terms, your five-year training and education compute to
an estimated three-million-dollar investment by the citizens and residents of this Commonwealth of islands,” His Excellency said during his keynote address at the Oath Swearing and Awards Ceremony held in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, at Government House, Sunday, July 5, 2020.
He stated that the 35 graduates (of whom some 80 per cent are females) are being entrusted with the future of healthcare delivery in The Bahamas. “Some of you are the first in your family to become doctors. I can feel your parents’ and guardians’ hearts bursting with pride today. I share in their joy.” His Excellency told the new doctors that their profession is rooted in the ideals of compassion, empathy, confidentiality and a commitment to improving the lives of others. He said these are ideals that nurture and cement the relationship between a patient and his or her doctor.
“There are very few relationships that have this sacred trust which is also embedded in the social contract: Patient Above Self.” His Excellency congratulated the Medical School of UWI (now in its 72 nd Year of existence) that for the year 2019 Times Higher Education magazine ranked it as number one over 200 registered universities in the Caribbean Region.
He stated that UWI ranked in the top three percent of more than 2,000 registered universities in Latin America and the Caribbean, and ranked in the top five percent among the 28,00 registered universities globally. Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis told the graduates that when they take the Oath, they are agreeing to demonstrate complete honesty and discipline throughout their entire career.
“As you examine a patient, you might find that the patient has what is classified as a terminal illness such as stage four cancer. It is your job to tell them the truth; you cannot withhold that information from them.
“But it is also your job to give them hope. Yes, you must explain to them that they have stage four cancer, but you can recall individuals who have been in similar situations but have gone on to live for a long, long time.” He said they must always remain humble and demonstrate humility. He told them to put themselves in the patient’s situation – and feel the pain and suffering they are going through. “Remember to treat them like how you would like to be treated.”
The Prime Minister stressed to the students that they must always remember that they are not God and should not make believe that they are God. Dr. Riko Hart received the ‘Outstanding Student in Final MBBS Examination’ and the ‘Most Outstanding with the Highest GPA’ awards for the Class of 2020.