Practice in your fatherland, Unical VC urges new Medical Doctors

Unical VC, Prof. Zana Akpagu

Newly inducted Doctors of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have been advised against migrating to other countries in order for them to contribute their quota to the development of the nation’s health sector.

The Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Prof. Zana Akpagu gave the caution at the institution’s International Conference Centre during the 50th Physicians Oath taking Ceremony (Sponsio Academica).

Prof. Akpagu who was Chairman of the occasion stressed that there was need for the new doctors to practice their profession in their fatherland owing to the dearth of doctors and other Healthcare professionals in the country.

He said over the years there have been mass migration of Nigerian doctors to other countries in search of greener pastures, a situation, he said has impacted negatively on the nation’s health care system.

The Vice Chancellor said though the new doctors may desire to travel abroad for further medical training, they owe Nigerians a duty to cater for their health needs.

While urging them to see their induction as a call to service of humanity, he charged them to respect the ethics of their profession and shun acts capable of jeopardizing their future.

Prof. Akpagu who congratulated the doctors for scaling the hurdles in the course of their training also appreciated their parents for making sacrifices to ensure that their children become successful, even as he urged the doctors to reciprocate by taking good care of their parents.

Also speaking, the Provost of the College of Medical Sciences, UNICAL, Prof. Victor Ansa congratulated the inductees for the great feat and urged them to be good ambassadors of their alma mater.

He called on them to embrace discipline and humility, even as he charged them to learn from their seniors in the medical profession.

This is even as he thanked the Vice Chancellor for the massive support for the college, stressing that the standard he has created has contributed  immensely to the great achievements recorded by the college especially in the area of training of doctors.

In his words, ‘’ you are welcome to the real world of the practice of medicine and I urge you to be humble and learn from your seniors and teachers.

‘’We urge you to always hold your alma mater in high esteem wherever you are and don’t drag the image of your profession in the mud’’
Speaking shortly after administering oath on the new doctors, the Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Dr. Tajudeen.A.Sanusi aligned with the Vice Chancellor’s submission on the need for the new doctors to ply their trade in Nigeria, stating that their services are needed locally.

This came as he charged the new doctors to adhere strictly to the code of medical ethics and warned that anyone who falls foul of the law will be punished accordingly.

The Registrar who said that the doctors owe the society a duty further warned them to desist from any misconduct, which he said, may lead to their suspension from medical practice.

Dr. Sanusi said, ‘’ your induction is a call to service of humanity. You must adhere strictly to the code of medical ethics, violation of which may cause you to be a victim before the medical organs of council’’

He also called for a robust synergy between the College of Medical Sciences, UNICAL, and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) in the onerous task of training doctors and other healthcare professionals.

The Chief Medical Director of UCTH, Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme said the training of doctors remained his topmost priority, even as he promised to join forces with its sister establishment in that regard.

Represented by Dr. Ogbu Ngim, the CMD said he was happy to be part of the graduands success stories and wished them well in the medical profession.

Cross River State Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Agam.E. Ayuk thanked the Management of UNICAL for making sure that the doctors graduate with their certificates.

While welcoming them into the NMA, he urged them to uphold the code of ethics of the medical profession as well as the professional ethics of the NMA.

The NMA Charmain who warned the doctors against sharp practices also called on them to be security conscious.

The Sponsio lecturer, Prof. Eric Archibong, who spoke on the topic, ‘’ Transforming a Medical Student to a Medical Practitioner’, called on the new doctors to maintain confidentiality when dealing with patients.

Prof. Archibong said it is important for the doctors to obtain a patient’s consent at all times, saying they should always explain to a patient in simple clear language their findings and treatment options, including the likely outcome of their treatment.

He said, while dealing with patients, the doctors must rise above cultural, ethnic and religious barriers, adding that they must not be discriminatory.

The Sponsio lecturer also called on the new doctors to show compassion and identify with patient’s problems as well as show empathy rather than shower blames on a patient.

A Representative of the New Doctors, Igri Abasieoyi James described their induction into the medical profession as a dream come true, adding that the journey through medical school has been a memorable one.

Igri James, who was their class representative, thanked the lecturers, staff and Provost of Medical College for their numerous contributions, which she said, contributed to their success.

The 33 new doctors during the oath taking ceremony pledged to consecrate their lives to the service of humanity.

They also pledged to uphold the tenets of the medical profession.
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