Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wine Tasting and the Case White Coat Ceremony

Let me start by saying that the wine tasting last night was amazingly fun. Not only were there a zillion different kinds of wine from all over the U.S. and the world, there were also a ton of different kinds of cheeses. I think that I enjoyed tasting the cheeses even more than the wines, because you can only drink so much wine before you start getting tipsy and they all begin to taste alike. I learned a few interesting things at the wine tasting: smoked blue cheese is really, really good; there are certain wines that go along with certain cheeses; and Ohio actually has wineries. I wasn't that impressed with the Ohio wine, but in case you're ever in the northeastern Ohio area and you need to know this, the Ohio Chardonney (a white wine) was much better than any of the red wines. I think I drank more wine at the cheese tables than I did at the wine tables. They kept insisting that such-and-such cheese went so well with such-and-such wine. By the end, I was just eating and drinking whatever they gave me. And for future reference for myself, I really like Riesling.

I also found out that you can never be sure when or where you will have your skills as a physician called upon. This is a little bit freaky: I was standing talking with the two friends I had come with, and all of a sudden there was a crash. A man had slipped and fallen, and he was bleeding like crazy from his nose and a facial cut. One of my friends who had already finished her second year of medical school immediately went to his assistance. I don't do my first aid training until Tuesday, so basically I was not able to be useful at all. The freaky part is that the three of us had been talking about the first aid training that I was about to do this week, and then bam, there was someone who needed some! The man was ok, and we went on our way after the ambulance was called.

Ok, so now on to the White Coat Ceremony. We started out with a breakfast at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Cleveland Clinic campus. There are two hotels at CCF: the Intercontinental Hotel, and the Intercontinental Suites Hotel. The Intercontinental Hotel (minus the Suites) is the really posh one, although they are both pretty posh. Breakfast was good. I got to meet the spouses, significant others, and families of several of my classmates, plus introduce them to mine. After we had breakfast, it was time to leave for Severance Hall, which is located on the Case campus about a mile away from CCF.

First, we took pictures with our academic societies...well, at least the UP and MSTP people did. The CCLCM students don't have a society, so we are kind of our own society. We were the last to get our picture taken, and Dr. Fishleder (the dean) was missing. So we wound up standing there for a while until they found him, and the other students were seated already in the small auditorium by the time we got in there. We had been given index cards that told us where we were supposed to sit based on alphabetical order. They also gave us all copies of the oath, which all 174 of us were going to read after we received our Case student coats.

At 11:00, they had us file into the big auditorium and sit alphabetically again. Dean Horwitz made a small introductory speech first, and then Dean Heneghan from Case gave her own speech. She talked about the words that mattered to her as a physician and as a person, including "no" and "love." We found out that she will be leaving to go to San Fransicso with her family because her husband got a job there. That is too bad; I like her. I met her last year when I interviewed for the UP.

Then it was finally time for us to get coated. As they called each student up in alphabetical order, they also flashed our pictures up on a screen above the stage. For the CCLCM students, they used our pictures from our own White Coat Ceremony last Monday. Dean Franco gave me the coat, I shook hands with Dean Heneghan and Dean Fishleder, and then with the university president and the medical school president and several distinguished Western Reserve SOM alums whose names and accomplishments I am afraid that I don't remember. The UP and MSTP students were coated by their society deans, but Dean Fishleder coated us. The coats are short and have a CWRU SOM seal on them, along with a pin with the student's name on it and another little pin that says "Humanism in Medicine." I may not ever wear the coat again unless I rotate through some of Case's hospitals, but it was still nice to be a part of the ceremony. Plus, it was so cold in Severance Hall that it was nice to have the coat on.

Finally, it was time for us to recite the oath. Like I said before, each entering class at Case writes its own. Here is the CWRU SOM oath for the entering class of 2006:

Our Code of Professionalism
July 16, 2006

"We, the entering class of 2006, do fully commit ourselves to the art and science of medicine. Our journey bears with it the responsibility of serving humanity with compassion. As future physicians:

We will develop a foundation of scholarship and inquiry, striving to master the practice of medicine.

We affirm that lifelong curiosity and self-improvement are fundamental to high quality care.

We seek to cultivate our professional and technical abilities and to learn from our mistakes.

We aim to build a relationship of trust between physicians and patients.

We will emphasize open communication with respect for patient confidentiality.

We pledge to be tolerant and respectful of our diverse patients and colleagues.

We will treat every patient with humility, empathy, and compassion.

We will be honest and never compromise our integrity.

We will empower people to take charge of their own health by providing resources and education.

Finally, we will pass on our collective wisdom to future physicians.

By upholding these principles, we strive to justify the public's confidence in our profession. We hope to bring an increased level of service and compassion to patients and communities. We envision a world with improved access to care and greater quality of life for all. Ultimately, we promise to provide care that we ourselves would like to receive."

After that, we took a class picture with all 174 of us plus the deans, and there was a reception. And that was the end of the White Coat Ceremony.

Ok, I need to go finish reading for my problem solving session tomorrow. The good thing is that I did finally finish those safety modules, so I'm making progress. I've also been doing some reading for my lab project this summer. More about that later.


Sara said...

I really like your oath.

Congrats on getting the coat! :)

Risa said...

I'm starting M1 in three weeks, and reading your oath made me all teary! Congratulations on starting... I can't wait!