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College of Medicine Students Enter Clerkship Years

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Students in the College of Medicine class of 2018 recite the Student Doctor of Medicine Pledge at this year’s Student Clinician’s Ceremony.

The third year of medical school officially marks when students cross over to their clerkship years and begin seeing patients. For the past two years, students in the College of Medicine have been training and studying in classrooms and labs for the moment they can start their clinical rotations and examine patients for the first time, under supervision by trained faculty and staff. Today, the College of Medicine celebrated this milestone at the annual Student Clinician’s Ceremony held at the Student-Alumni Center.

The Student Clinician’s Ceremony began as a sponsored event by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. It is a time looked forward to by the upcoming M3s, residents and program directors. Renate Rosenthal, PhD, assistant dean of Behavioral Science Integration, who served as the master of ceremonies for the event, said, “This ceremony serves as a rite of passage, a transition. We are very grateful to the alumni who are sponsoring the event now.”

It is at this event that students begin their entry into the clinician world by revisiting the Student Doctor of Medicine Pledge, an oath taken during their first year of medical school at the White Coat Ceremony. Providing a forum where students can reflect and share stories on their experiences working in medicine, the event is designed to support students beginning their clerkships by reducing their anxiety level and preparing them for the next chapter towards becoming physicians.

Residents from across the three UTHSC campuses—Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga were recognized with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award. The award recipients were Chris R. Collins, MD; Patrick R. Higgins, DO; Michele McAmis, MD; and Catherine Watson, MD, from the Memphis campus; Amit S. Shah, MD, from the Chattanooga campus; and Lauren B. Grimsley, MD, from the Knoxville campus. The residents were nominated by their peers based on their commitment to teaching and demonstrating compassionate treatment of patients and their families, as well as being outstanding role models. Each honoree was presented with a certificate, lapel pin, and a check for $250 from the Gold Foundation, as well as recognition on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education website.

clinician story imageGuest speakers for the event were Janet L. Purkey, MD, FACP, and associate professor in Internal Medicine in the UT Graduate School of Medicine, and Tyler A. Cannon, MD, instructor in Medical Education in the UTHSC College of Medicine. Both speakers shared stories of their first experiences seeing and treating patients and what they learned over the years in practice.

The speakers urged the students to remember the humanistic aspect of patient care. Dr. Purkey said, “You get this sacred honor of listening to people’s stories and then helping them. There is nothing more amazing than that. You have more time this next year than you ever will to spend with patients. Get a narrative, not just a history. Sit down and learn about people.”

During the event, the Gold Humanism Honor Society also recognized new members of the honor society for displaying the best qualities in humanism and care. The peer nominated honorees are: Laura Anderson, Neha Bhatnager, Blake Briggs, Anna Calkins, Alex Calvert, Shane Coughlin, Erica Eggers, Josh Justice, Amanda Kull, Rebecca McKendrick, David Moquin, Jordan Perchik, Salar Rafieetary, Rebecca Teague, Anderson Webb and Anna Zhu.

Dr. Cannon said to the class of 2018, “I know you’re a student doctor, but patients look at you as a doctor, you have a white coat, when you walk into a room you are a doctor.”