U of M Welcomes MD Class of 2019

August 25, 2015 at 10:00 am

White Coat 2015

Last week, I was honoured to welcome 110 students into the College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Science during our annual ‘white coat’ ceremony, held in Brodie Centre.

This will become their ‘home’ for the next four years where we will provide them with a top quality education by exceptional faculty and broad clinical experiences. I am proud to congratulate our most recent University of Manitoba MD graduates who performed extremely well on their recent Medical College of Canada Qualifying Examinations (MCCQE) earning the highest pass rate in the country (98 per cent) among medical schools. As well, 84 per cent scored above the national mean.

Inaugural Day exercises for medical students are marked by the cloaking of Med I students in their white coats and reciting of the Hippocratic Oath for the first time.

The Medicine Class of 2019 is a diverse group comprised of 10 self-declared Aboriginal students; four French-speaking bilingual students; and 22 students with rural attributes. This year, 105 (95 %) of the students are Manitobans.

In our next intake, we will be employing our new admissions guidelines to further enhance the diversity of applicants to our medical school. The new changes will help to attract medical students that reflect Manitoba’s diversity in ethnicity, socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions and sexual orientation.

By making the College of Medicine more diverse and inclusive to all members of our community, I see a great future for our students and for health care in our province.

The Class of 2019 is the first to enter medical school since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its report and its calls to action.

In her welcoming address, Dr. Marcia Anderson DeCoteau, Section Head, First Nations, Metis & Inuit Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, urged the new MD students to live up to the recommendations of the TRC.

“You and your peers have an opportunity to say the reconciliation matters to health and reconciliation matters to us,” she said. “Be the physicians and the leaders that live up to the expectations of our ancestors.”

This incoming class is also the first to have the opportunity to take part in Canada’s only four year longitudinal Indigenous health course. This course, developed by UGME faculty, is a national leader in meeting the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Our keynote address was delivered by Prabhat Jha [MD/88], who focused on the themes of imagination and identity.

IMG_9129 - P Jha

Jha stressed that not all medical breakthroughs are a result of pure scientific investigation, but also spring out of fertile imaginations.

“Imagination is the grammar of your training,” he said. “Imagination is the key to the enormous progress we have seen in medicine.” He encouraged the students to take advantage of the creative imagination “in these halls” pointing to U of M stars Henry Friesen [MD/58], Allan Ronald [MD/61], Joe Doupe and Frank Plummer [MD/76].

In their identities as doctors Jha advised the students that the “biggest need of doctors is maintaining a moral compass. We all learn to be clinicians but we must also learn empathy, confidentiality and judiciousness.”

As medical professionals and future physicians, these are all words we need to live by.

What’s the best piece of advice you learned as a young medical student?

Read about a mum of six, one of our new students and a pair of brothers in the Med Class of 2019

Check out our Storify from White Coat here