Ceremonial oath marks beginning of clinical training for first cohort
Veterinary medicine and surgery students at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have taken a ceremonial oath to mark the beginning of their in-clinic training.
Considered a rite of passage, the ‘white coat ceremony’ is held for vet students to mark their transition from preclinical to clinical training by presenting them with a white medical coat and asking them to swear to the veterinary oath.
In a modern twist on the occasion, the 77 undergraduates who make up UCLan’s first BVMS Veterinary Medicine & Surgery cohort were instead presented with a stethoscope from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) President Dr Sue Paterson FRCVS before they embark on their first work-based placements, known as Intra-Mural Rotations (IMR).
"Professionalism is about the small things you do around the physical treatment you deliver."— RCVS President Dr Sue Paterson FRCVS
The RCVS is the regulator for the veterinary profession, with responsibilities for setting, upholding and advancing the educational, ethical and clinical standards for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.
As the students took the oath to declare their promise to pursue their profession with integrity, Sue gave them some valuable advice.
“Professionalism is about the small things you do around the physical treatment you deliver,” she said. “It’s a given that animal health and welfare are always our first consideration but communication, compassion and empathy are all qualities you need to take with you to work every day as a vet.”
Martina Pizzolato, 29, will undertake her first IMR within a farm-focussed veterinary practice. She said: “Receiving the stethoscope and taking the oath makes everything feel real. We’ve been learning in the classroom since September but now we’re heading out to work in vet practices for the first time and I can’t wait to get started.”
"It’s taken me a long time to get to this point so today feels like a significant milestone"— UCLan vet student Miriam Msouhl
Fellow student Miriam Msouhli, 21, commented: “It’s taken me a long time to get to this point so today feels like a significant milestone and I feel very proud to be going out on placement. I can’t wait to show off my stethoscope to my flat mates.”
Dr Heather Bacon, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, added: “It’s really important as vets that we uphold the trust that the public and industry places in us when we care for their pets and safeguard their livelihoods.
“Those professional attributes of professionalism, trustworthiness, and integrity are key aspects of our profession and something our students have taken very seriously in their preparation for placement. Today’s ceremony allows them to celebrate their achievements so far.”
The students will undertake their first ever hands-on placements at a variety of small animal, farm animal and equine practices across the North West.