Second Year Oath Ceremony marks a milestone in the educational journey

By Kristen O’Reilly

UMass Medical School Communications

March 03, 2014

Students at the 2013 Second-Year OathAt the Second Year Oath Ceremony, School of Medicine students in the Class of 2016 will pause after the stress of completing finals and preparing for the boards to publicly pledge to honor the human side of medicine in the next stage of their educational journey. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 5, at 6 p.m. in the Sherman Center multipurpose room.

The ceremony is student-driven on many levels. Not only do members of the class write the oath they recite to end the ceremony, they decide who will be the featured speaker and which faculty members will be awarded Educational Excellence Awards based on votes by members of the class. This year’s featured speaker will be Michael C. Fahey, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, who will be introduced by Jyotsna Mullur of the Class of 2016.

The oath itself, while formally written by a committee of six students, includes input from all 125 members of the class, who spend time in the Doctoring and Clinical Skills class discussing the meaning and significance of oaths in general. The most famous of these in the medical world are the Hippocratic Oath and the Oath of Maimonides, the latter of which is recited at the UMass Worcester graduation ceremony.

“We compiled the notes from all the small group discussions—we ended up with more than 20 pages—and saw what the common themes were,” said Student Body Committee co-president Malek Mazzawi, who was also a member of the oath committee. “Our committee spent a long time drafting the oath. It’s not just about the meaning; it’s about the way you present it too. We sent our first draft out to the whole class and got really positive feedback. I’m really happy with the way it was written.”

This year will be the first time the event is held on campus in the Sherman Center. The new location will allow the students to gather in the Learning Community rooms with their mentors before and after the ceremony.

“It’s a big milestone because the MD/PhDs will be going off to the lab for a few years, so it’s the last time we will be together with our entire class,” said Mazzawi. “After all the stress of studying for finals and the boards, it’s a time to recognize that we’re going to be third years and are no longer going to be in the classroom as much.”

Related link on UMassMedNow:
Students vow to serve patients with respect, humility and compassion