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Observing The Medical Induction Ceremony From Three Angles – Medical Student, Inductee & Medical Doctor

Last week Wednesday, a fresh set of doctors from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria was inducted into the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria. It was the immediate induction after mine and my first as a registered medical doctor.

It happened that I personally knew a lot of persons who were getting inducted. At a time I thought, “This feels like my own induction.” Having played a significant role in the success story of some persons, I revelled in their accomplishment like it was mine.

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– A set of happy, newly-inducted doctors. Spot me in the middle.

As a medical student

The induction ceremony was an event I looked forward to. Whenever I watched the new doctors pledge to the Hippocratic oath, I was motivated to study harder; to push through and become a medical doctor. Being present was always inspiring for me.

I also noticed how loud or silent the ovation was for different persons when they were called up to the podium. The intensity of the ovation was a reflection of the impact they had on others during their stay in the university. I tried to identify some factors that may explain this. Giving back, in form of teaching the younger colleagues, being a student leader and being an active member of an association, usually CMDA or FECAMDS were the three top factors I identified.

Another highlight of the ceremony for me was when the best graduating doctors in various courses were called up to be recognized. I enjoyed listening to the class valedictorian read her speech.

On the induction before mine, I cried. It seemed weird to me and I remember teasing myself, “So, you are in the category of people that cry on their wedding day.” That made me blush. I also remember chuckling at how funny I’d look when I went up to be sworn in with a smeared face because I couldn’t hold in my emotions. I cried because I could relate to their struggle and also anticipate the joy that comes from triumph.

My induction

My induction as a medical doctor stands out as the best day of my life yet. When I was having my makeup done in the morning, it felt like my wedding day. A colleague of mine voiced a similar feeling, and I also heard of a doctor who said, after being married, that his induction was still the best day of his life.

The ovation when I was called up to be sworn in was not loud. It was easy to see why. I was not involved in teaching the younger colleagues, I did not run for any leadership position and was neither a part of CMDA nor FECAMDS. My impact was little or nothing, but that is changing.

I did not get any award either. I felt an infinitesimal amount of disappointment for my parents who might have been delighted at the event but I focused on this:

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– Photo credit: @yourstudymate on Instagram

I was thankful for where I was and where I was headed; without God’s mercy and goodness I would not be where I was nor still hold dreams of where I was headed.

I didn’t cry. I was mostly excited, then sober and tried to pay attention to the words of advice given to us on the day. “Be focused. Know what you want and go for it,” one of the speakers admonished.

The day ended with me feeling ecstatic. I was overwhelmed with the love that was shown to me and found myself repeatedly saying aloud at night, “I am a doctor. I am now a doctor.” It was a surreal feeling.

As a medical doctor

It was beautiful seeing my friends pledge to the Hippocratic oath.

Indeed, everything that has a beginning has an end, and as the bible put it, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning.”

The highlight for the newly inducted doctors is usually when the provost of the College of Health Sciences addresses them as her colleagues, no longer students. That makes me realize that the difference between medical students and medical doctors is time.

Now, I see every medical student as a potential doctor. “Isn’t that what they are and what the training is about?” you may ask. It became more real to me in the past weeks and will positively influence my training of medical students. I will teach them with respect, love and understanding.

I observed at the last induction that some persons let the strain from medical school steal their joy. No doubt, the journey to becoming a doctor takes longer, can be more tortuous and harder for some, but I think it is all worth it in the end. NOTHING should steal your joy that day. You are a victor, don’t you see?

The dominant emotions, however, are happiness and pride, both on the part of the newly inducted doctors and their family and friends.

My dad often says that being a doctor is a calling. I’ll like to add that it is a higher calling. One of service and selflessness.

As you pledge to the Hippocratic oath, the sacredness of the oath should guide your conduct and practice.

I also noticed that the inductees were instructed to say, ” I, Dr. *insert doctor’s name,* hereby affirm the PLEDGE I have just taken. So help me God.” As opposed to saying OATH.

For whatever reason it was altered, it does not diminish the sacredness of the Hippocratic oath and goes to show that the medical profession is in a constant state of evolution and that in itself is impressive.

Love,

Annie.

By annieejiofor

Hello. I'm Annie, a Nigerian, medical doctor, IELTS coach, freelance editor and the voice behind the writing.

I blog about life within and without medicine and other lifestyle topics like books, travel and helpful advice for medical professionals.

9 replies on “Observing The Medical Induction Ceremony From Three Angles – Medical Student, Inductee & Medical Doctor”

Nice one Doc, this is indeed the chronicles of med school in UPH.
It’s been said that if you can survive Uniport med school, then you can survive anywhere in the world.

Liked by 1 person

Hmm…I’m close to one fine doctor (encrypted message here), so I can relate to how “MBBS in the bag” feels like.

In fact, during the last induction I attended, I could easily spot out one family all decked in Aso-ebi for their daughter’s induction. As if that was not enough, the mother stood up and shouted one long “Praise the Looooord!” as her daughter walked up to receive a prize. The joy was palpable.

Something tells me that if I wasn’t doing what I was doing now, I’d have been a doctor. Induction day makes it look all glamorous! But I’m sure that’s just a mask of the years of hardwork and sleepless nights.

Dr. Annie, this was an interesting read! Looking forward to read your chronicles as a young medical doctor too.

Liked by 1 person

Awww, Fae. Where do I start to reply now? Haha

Okay, so there’s one fine doctor somewhere. See how you exposed yourself. Lmao

The joy on induction day is really palpable. It definitely makes all the hardwork, tears, fears and sleepless nights worth it. And I’m sure from then on, you begin to reap the dividends of the seeds you have sown. Even the tiniest things like the smile on your patients’ face and thank-you they say to you, when they can’t find any other way to express themselves, makes it all worth it in the end.

Thank you so much, Fae, for reading and leaving a reply. I will definitely chronicle my experiences as a medical doctor.

Like

Did I just get caught? Haha….But can’t a fine doctor be female? (winks).

Mmmm….this reminds me of your post on being a “village doctor”. Those smiles are really everything. God bless you for what you (and fine doctor) do.

You’re welcome.

Liked by 1 person

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