More than 900 students from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) were capped at Stellenbosch University's (SU) December graduation.
Among the FMHS' 908 graduates are 418 newly qualified health care professionals that will be entering the South African health system in 2020. On 10 December, the degrees of 264 medical doctors and 154 dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech-language and hearing therapists were conferred at the Coetzenburg Centre in Stellenbosch.
With 41 medical students passing with distinction, the class of 2019 achieved the highest number of graduates to complete the six-year long MBChB degrees cum laude in the faculty's 64 year history.
“Each one of you has made a solemn promise to be a health professional who respects people, cares for yourself and treats others with dignity, integrity and compassion," was the message from FMHS Dean, Prof Jimmy Volmink for graduands at the Pledge Ceremony where they undertook an oath to maintain ethical practices throughout their careers as health care professionals.
“When you take this oath you are committing to a profession, you are committing to your patients and you are committing to serving members of the public, regardless of who they are," Dr Matumo Ramafikeng said at the Pledge Ceremony for FMHS students receiving their Bachelor degrees in Occupational Therapy and Speech-language and Hearing Therapy as well as the Bachelor of Science degrees in Physiotherapy and Dietetics respectively. Ramafikeng is a senior lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University of Cape Town and President of the Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group.
Dr Garth Japhet, guest speaker at the Pledge Ceremony for the MB,ChB programme, also emphasised the importance of the pledge graduands are taking. “What will set you apart as a medical professional are the values of compassion, empathy, creativity and integrity. Therefore I want you to take this pledge very seriously and to have the courage to live out the values that are captured in that pledge," said Japhet, who is the chief executive officer of Heartlines.
Among the other FMHS graduates are 74 Master of Medicine graduates who qualified as medical specialists, 20 students receiving doctoral degrees (PhDs), 44 students getting Masters degrees, 90 receiving Honours degrees, and 262 students receiving postgraduate diplomas.
Photo caption 1: Dr Matumo Ramafikeng
Photo caption 2: Dr Garth Japhet