Teamwork Holds Key to Saving Lives: Educator

As technology continually innovates and assists in improving health, it is teamwork and proper communication that will help save lives.

The message was from Gulf Medical University chancellor Prof. Hossam Hamdy delivered before 472 freshman students who went through the “rite of passage” for their respective medical professions by way of the traditional “White Coat Ceremony” held by batches on Thursday at the Thumbay MediCity in Ajman.


Hamdy presented two video clips to emphasize his message, first read before 173 freshmen taking up Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, and Associate Degree in Pre-Clinical Sciences.

The first video clip which Hamdy pegged on English poet Alexander Pope’s “To err is human” line in “An Essay on Criticism Part 2,” pointed out that men are not spared in committing mistakes.

Yet, he juxtaposed that through humility, an open mind, a listening ear and the willingness to learn, combined with the straightforward proper guidance from seniors and mentors, these errors “will be prevented.”

“You will be dealing with human lives regardless of your speciality. Having clear ethical values will be your compass guiding when taking decisions in your personal and professional lives. You will be trained to put the patient’s interest first. You will need to improve yourself and learn in order to be a trustworthy professional.”

He stressed, “While practising you are prone to make mistakes? Yes. But we will do our best to prevent it. To err is human.”

The second video was taken from the photoplay version of a domestic flight in the US wherein the pilot was forced to land on a river in New York. The 155 passengers and crew were eventually rescued because Captain Sully sought help first from his co-pilot and by way of sharp concentration to obviate an impending disaster, both were able to communicate excellently to authorities their situation.

“Another competency which will remain unchanged is the communication between human beings. The patients, the students, the healthcare providers and the medical educators are all humans. How to communicate, connect and interact and feel will play a key role.”

Hamdy also said: “Medical practice is no longer a case of a single doctor, caring for his or her patients. You are part of a team, bringing in the expertise of a larger group of professionals, within a healthcare system.”

“Teamwork is one of the important competencies you have to acquire during your studies and beyond. Teamwork will save lives.”

Among the future medical doctors who decided to enroll at the university were Emirati Abdulla Sharaf from Dubai and Saima Suroor, an Indian born and raised in Sharjah.

Suroor wants to become a surgeon like some of her maternal relatives. Sharaf said only tomorrow shall determine what his speciality would be because “it is a very long journey and no one knows what tomorrow shall bring.”

Both believe that by becoming medical community members, they will be able to give hope and save lives.

Sharaf said: “There is nothing better than something we can do to make life beautiful to those asking and looking for hope.”

The ceremonies were attended by parents and guardians.

The chief guest was GMU founder/Board of Trustees president Dr. Thumbay Moideen who handed symbolic white coats to representative students from other colleges as well to include the College of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy, and the newest two namely the College of Healthcare Management & Economics, and the College of Nursing.

With their white coats on, GMU-Academics vice president Prof. Manda Venkatramana administered to them the “Honour Code.”

The code is their vow to an upright and respectable life whereby they “must be worthy of the trust given them, put others above (themselves).”

The students will have opportunities to study and practise in various overseas universities GMU has partnered with namely in the US, Malaysia, Poland, Italy, and the UK.

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