Charlestown, Nevis (April 10, 2007)
Premier of Nevis the Hon Joseph Parry invited students of the 2007 graduating class at the Medical University of the Americas (MUA) on Nevis to use their experiences to promote the island.
His call came while he presented the Premier’s Award to Ms. Indira Maharaj-Mikielrahaj at the graduating ceremony at the Four Seasons Resort on Tuesday April 10, 2007. She was honoured in recognition of her contributions to the student body, the Medical University and the community of Nevis. A total of 58 students received their White Coats, 47 graduated in Basic Science and 11 with a Bachelor of Health Science.
” I gather that you really enjoyed being on Nevis and that you have made many friends here so I am saying to you as you travel now to the various hospitals in the United States of America, that you will remember Nevis, the university and the people of Nevis, we can do with the promotion. Tourism is absolutely important to us, so we want you to return with your families when you have your families and we also want you to get your friends, neighbours and colleagues to come to Nevis, you are our marketing department,” he said.Meantime, Dr. Shahid Akbar in his feature address told the graduands that experience and knowledge were not interchangeable but rather were complementary to each other and therefore both were essential for the successful practice of medicine.
He admonished the graduates to gain knowledge and verify it irrespective of its source and never hesitate to share it with their peers. “Knowledge is the only commodity that grows more when you spend it by sharing with others. None of us knows everything, not even in our own specialisations. Therefore, you will not be expected to know everything but there is a certain degree of knowledge you will be expected to possess to be a competent physician.
“Don’t hesitate to admit the lack of knowledge about something and then follow up to remove the deficiency as soon as possible. Always strive for improvement and betterment of your knowledge base. Be grateful to those who help you become a better person and a better physician, this will not only be an acknowledgement of their contribution but will also reinforce your achievements. It will also make you more amenable to future improvements. Knowledge about your shortcomings is the first step towards improvement so be your own critic and analyse everything you do with a critical mind,” he said.
Dr Akbar impressed on the graduands, that they would be the guardian of the faith entrusted to them by their patients which they would be held accountable for. He reminded them that their priority should be the legitimate medical needs and the welfare of their patients.
“Honesty, integrity and dedication should not be just slogans in your life but the hallmarks of your character. You will be watched and observed by a number of people around you and what you do and how you behave will be closely monitored and scrutinised, especially during your early years of clinical practice. Your actions and behaviour will not only be a reflection of your own character but also a reflection of your family and the institute where you graduated from”¦
“Be a physician with character, competence and distinction”¦do not seek favours in exchange for your honesty and integrity. In life there are wants and needs and we are all subjected to both. Maintain a balance between the two and do not let the genie of wants overcome your mind, once you become a prisoner of wants, it is likely to impinge upon your honesty and integrity; so be vigilant. You have certain obligations to the society and you must not ignore these obligations, you must be a competent and caring physician but a responsible citizen,” he said.
During the distribution of awards, the Dean of Basic Science Award presented to Mr Sandeep Kahlon for having obtained the highest grade point average throughout their academic career at the MUA. The Service and Leadership Award went to Ms. Monica Osborne-Stevens while the Most Outstanding Professor Award (selected by the student body) went to Dr. Marybeth Ellison.
Also present at the ceremony were Deputy Premier and Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration the Hon. Hensley Daniel and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mrs. Joslyn Liburd.