Trinity School of Medicine recently held its White Coat Ceremony for the May 2023 starting class. The new matriculates, parents, relatives, friends, and other well-wishers gathered to celebrate this important day at Kingstown Baptist Church in St. Vincent. Presiding over the event was Trinity’s Dean and Provost Dr. John P. Geisler with guest speakers Mr. Dixon Findlay, the Chief Technical Officer at St. Vincent’s Ministry of Education, keynote speaker and Trinity graduate Dr. Dylan Carroll, and the Associate Dean of Basic Sciences Dr. Nagadharsan Devendra.
Dr. Geisler imparted the significance of the white coat ceremony and how it is important to focus on compassionate care from the beginning of one’s medical journey, not just when one graduates. He stated that the white coat ceremony “symbolizes the change, really the passage of students from pre-clinical medical professional studies to more formal training in the medical field of (the student’s) choice.” He then continued by stating that this transition is important because “being a doctor of medicine is a calling to serve with humility those who come to us in the time of their need.”
Mr. Dixon Findlay of the Ministry of Education inspired students by saying that what they do in medical school can make a big difference to society because patient care is important in every part of the world. Mr. Findlay gave the students encouragement as they set out on a journey to do what they love, saying one has to love what they do in order to achieve anything in life. He stated, “the coat would be meaningless if students were not willing to listen, learn, and appreciate that the patients are depending on them to save lives, be humble and honest, and to treat each other with dignity.” He pointed out that in the end, society will benefit because of the decision that students are making — the decision to become a physician.
The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Dr. Dylan Carroll, is an alum of Trinity School of Medicine who graduated in 2018. Dr. Carroll is a board-certified internal medicine physician who completed his residency in Pueblo Colorado and recently opened up a new practice in Warner Robins, Georgia.
Dr. Carroll was thankful for the opportunity to share a few words of wisdom with the new students and stated that “being back on the island is a unique and bittersweet experience…one that highlights what really matters, which is with whom you decide to spend your time.” He told students that the key to success is to keep company with only people who uplift you, whose very presence calls forth the best in you. He went on to mention that the friendships he formed on the island back when he was a student have become the family he has chosen and it changed the trajectory of his life immeasurably for the better. “I would not be the person here today if it were not for them and I know they feel the same.” He reminded the new students that their medical education journeys will be difficult at times and that supportive peers are essential in order to succeed.
Dr. Devendra closed the ceremony by reminding students that donning the whitecoat marks an incredibly significant transition in their lives as they enter into the medical profession.
“This is the stage where you will make a career of becoming future physicians and serving the community. It requires a lifelong commitment of learning to keep up with the latest updates in medicine while applying it to your practice. We all look forward to seeing where your journey takes you and wish you very great success in your careers.”