Three MBBS graduates from the National University of Samoa celebrated their oath as new doctors
The Hippocratic Oath Ceremony marks a pledge of ethics which states the obligations and proper conduct of doctors. It is one of the oldest tradition in medicine which focuses on several principles of medical ethics that remain of paramount significance today and is still held sacred by physicians. It is simply a promise to treat the ill to the best of one’s ability, to preserve the patient’s privacy and to teach and pass on knowledge of medicine to the next generation.
The three new doctors who graduated from the National University of Samoa (NUS) School of Medicine (SOM) and their families and friends joined the University and its stakeholders, partners and friends on Monday the 19th of April 2021 to celebrate this important achievement. It was an honoured occasion for the recently graduated clinicians to take their oath and pledged their lives to the service of humanity. They are Dr. Fiona Seumanutafa, Dr. Fogalele Vaesavali-Sua and Dr. Stanley Manoa Black. The proud young doctors have joined the Ministry of Health medical workforce as new House Surgeons or Interns, which brings the number of clinicians who have obtained the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the National University of Samoa to 34 since the Programme was established in 2014.
The ceremony was hosted by the University and was held at the Ministry of Health (MOH) Headquarter Building. The new doctors, their families and invited guests were warmly welcomed by the Dean of the Faculty of Health Science, Salā Ma’asatasesa Samuelu-Matthes and was followed by the wonderful thanksgiving prayer and sermon which was led by Pastor Asiata Professor Satupaitea Viali. The NUS Vice Chancellor and President Aiono Professor Alec Ekeroma delivered the keynote address in which he acknowledged the distinguished guests, the new doctors and their families and friends. He reminded the new doctors to “do no harm and look after yourselves first in order to be well enough to take care of the sick”.
The conduction of the Hippocratic Oath was led by the chairman of the Samoa Medical Council, Papalii Dr. Sam Petaia. Afterwards he congratulated the new doctors and offered words of encouragement as they enter into their new careers. Dr. Stanley Manoa Black who was the Top Overall Student for the MBBS Programme 2020 gave a moving speech on behalf of his class to thank everyone who has contributed to their journey in one way or another. The programme concluded with a thank you note from the SOM’s Head of School, Dr. Filipina Amosa-Lei Sam.
Dr. Amosa-Lei Sam acknowledged the Government of Samoa for the ongoing assistance through scholarships provided for the local students. Additionally she thanked in particular the Director General of Health and the Ministry of Health for their tireless professional efforts and continuous support to the School of Medicine through teaching, supervision and mentoring provided for the students. This was extended to the Heads of Departments in Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital and Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital in Savaii, consultants, senior registrars, junior doctors, nurses, laboratory staff, radiology staff and all staff of the MOH. She also recognised with great appreciation the staff of the National Kidney Foundation of Samoa and the staff of the Samoa Family Health Association for their assistance in the training of medical students.
She concluded with words of advice to the new doctors, “As you leave this place, go forth to serve your community and remember your oath to cherish life, that you will not permit personal beliefs, affiliations, or social standing to hinder performing your duties as a medical doctor to the best of your ability”.
The ceremony was also attended by the children and families of the pioneers and forefathers of the medical fraternity in Samoa whom have sponsored the special prizes for the graduates. These are;
- Asiata Professor Satupaitea Viali prize for the Top Overall Student for the MBBS Programme
- Lei’ata’atimu Dr. Viali Lei’ata’atimu & Luaao Viali Memorial prize for the Top Pre-Clinical Student
- Namulau’ulu Dr Iakopo & Mrs Tusiata Esera memorial prize for Clinical Excellence in Internal Medicine
- Lolofietele Taulealeausumai Dr. Eti Enosa memorial prize for the for Clinical Excellence in Surgery
- Salausa Dr. John Ah Ching prize for Clinical Excellence in Community Health
- Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of TTM Hospital prize for Clinical Excellence in Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Mulipola Dr. Levaula Leilani Kamu memorial prize for Clinical Excellence in Paediatrics
- Vaiouga Levi memorial prize for Clinical Excellence in Emergency Medicine
- Dr Lafi Esera memorial prize for Clinical Excellence in Anaesthesia
- Pesetā Dr. Amosa Siō memorial prize for the Top Clinical Student.