The New Students Officially Became Members of the LSMU Community – White Coats Were Handed to Them

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In mid-September, all new students at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) were awarded white coats. This garment is associated with deep knowledge, empathy and respect for the patient, lecturers and colleagues. For future human and animal healthcare professionals, this is a symbol of commitment to the responsible and fair performance of their duties.

Traditionally, the first white coats were received by new students of the Faculty of Medicine. Also, for the second year in a row, at the initiative of the LSMU Student Affairs Office, the coats were awarded to the first-year students of the Faculties of Pharmacy, Odontology, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Animal Sciences. 

They swore to take their studies seriously

In the solemn celebration, the first white coats were received by future doctors. LSMU Rector, the famous Cardiac Surgeon Prof. Dr. R. Benetis came to congratulate them upon joining the medical community along with the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Anaesthesiologist Prof. Dr. A. Macas, a former long-time Dean of the Faculty, pioneer of this tradition, Proctologist Prof. Dr. A. Tamelis and the Dean of Students Affairs, Obstetrician Gynaecologist Assoc. Prof. Dr. L. Malakauskienė.

Observed making the promise to study medical science responsibly and honestly by these medical authorities, the new students of medicine also enshrined their promise with the symbolic Hippocrates oath.

“This celebration, this oath and the white coat symbolise that you have become a member of the medical community. It is a great joy, but also a great commitment. A doctor is not a free person in society; they have many responsibilities. They are expected to do a lot of things: professionalism, knowledge, skills. This also applies to your appearance, your outfit, your behaviour, even how you speak. The white coat symbolises this world to which you come and become a part of,” Prof. Dr. A. Tamelis emphasised the doctor’s duty to take responsibility for their profession 

“Medical studies are a serious science. The coat will discipline and oblige you in a certain way,” Prof. Dr. R. Benetis. The Rector was also pleased that this September, as every year, the University is full of first-year students, and in their ranks a number of international students.

“We have a lot of students this year, a quarter of them come from abroad. This is very encouraging, as it means that there is trust in the University and our proposed study programmes. I believe that the vast majority of you will successfully complete your studies, stay, work, treat patients and be proud of your profession,” said the Head of LSMU.

The coats were gifted by partners

According to the Dean of Student Affairs L. Malakauskienė, the celebration of the first-year white coat is a great opportunity to rejoice those students chose the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.

“This is the end of one stage of your life and the beginning of a new one. The road to this place was not without obstacles – exams, general admission stages, signing university agreements, creating a student profile – all this took a lot of effort. But today you are here. We hope that you will be in a great, elevated mood throughout the next academic year,” the LSMU Dean of Student Affairs Assoc. Prof. Dr.  L. Malakauskienė congratulated the new students.

It was thanks to the team of the Student Affairs Office and the social partners that for the second year in a row, the first-year students of all LSMU study programmes received white coats. They were given to young people by loyal and new partners, with whom the University cooperates in joint projects, organising study practices and recruiting graduates.

The initiative of this academic year’s first-year student white coat ceremony was supported by the dental aligners manufacturer Ordoline, odontology clinic KDK, dental suppliers Mardentas, agricultural company Agrokoncernas, pharmacy chain Gintarinė vaistinė, laboratory Antėja, Eglės sanatorija, online shop Hifamed, medical equipment suppliers Medita and manufacturers of orthopaedic goods Pirmas žingsnis.

“On behalf of faculty representatives and first-year students, we thank you for the cooperation and sharing of the success formulas of your companies. The gift of a white coat strengthens the motivation of new students to learn, to pursue a successful career and to join prosperous Lithuanian companies in the near future,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. L. Malakauskienė. 

Health education is inspired by the example of loved ones

Augustė Zorskytė, the first-year student of the LSMU Pharmacy study programme, says that she was very much looking forward to finally being able to dress up in this symbolic study outfit. According to her, it not only distinguishes healthcare professionals from the crowd, but also allows them to feel comfortable during often stressful and tedious work.

“For me, this white coat symbolises the daily routine of my profession. I was waiting for the moment when I could finally wear it,” she said.

The girl added that the pharmacy studies at LSMU were chosen due to inspiring relatives: “I chose LSMU because I had an inspiring example – my family, which includes doctors and pharmacists. I always knew I was going to study health sciences. I chose the pharmaceutical field.”

First-year student Augustė also talked about the first impressions of studies at the university: “The impression of the first few weeks is that LSMU lecturers are extremely sincere and friendly. They create an atmosphere where it is comfortable and enjoyable to study.”