Declaration of medical achievement

20 April 2020

UCLan’s first cohort of graduating doctors use technology to take historic pledge

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) first cohort of medical graduates have used modern technology to recite a solemn pledge which is usually reserved for graduation day.

The Declaration of Geneva, a contemporary successor to the 2500-year-old Hippocratic Oath, was adopted by the World Medical Association (WMA) at its second General Assembly in 1948.  It outlines in concise terms the professional duties of physicians and affirms the ethical principles of the global medical profession.

Traditionally the Oath is recited in public by medical graduates as part of their university graduation ceremonies. For many medical schools the ongoing Covid-19 crisis means it has not been possible for new doctors to make the declaration.

However, at UCLan the School of Medicine decided that all was not lost. By using video technology, the 28 international graduates have been able to recite the serious pledge.

"They will truly be knowledgeable, compassionate and empathetic doctors and great ambassadors for our School of Medicine and for UCLan."

UCLan’s Professor Cathy Jackson, Head of the School of Medicine, said: “The taking of the Oath provides a realisation to our medical graduates that they are entering a noble and trusted profession which places patients at the centre of their working lives.

“Reciting the Oath in public can have a profound effect and although our summer graduation ceremonies have been deferred until December we wanted to highlight the achievements of our first cohort of doctors now, 22 of which are going to be working on the front line in the North West for local hospitals and clinics.

“Although they have been launched into their career sooner than anticipated they are all very well prepared and should I ever have the need I would be happy to meet any one of them in a medical setting.

“They will truly be knowledgeable, compassionate and empathetic doctors and great ambassadors for our School of Medicine and for UCLan.”

The new graduates originally came to study at UCLan from countries across the world including Bangladesh, Burma, China, Jordan, India, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Oman, Portugal, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, and the United States.

The Declaration of Geneva remains one of the most consistent documents of the WMA. With only very few and careful revisions in 1968, 1983, 1994, editorially revised in 2005 and 2006 and amended in 2017.