March 15, 2010
Amrita School of Medicine, Kochi
It was a morning, ninety-nine students, their parents, family and friends had anticipated for over five and half years. The audience brimmed with enthusiasm as the third graduating class of medical students earnestly walked in procession, down the center aisle of the auditorium, then took their seats to observe the ritual lamp lighting and invocation by Swami Poornamritananda Puri, General Secretary, Mata Amritanandamayi Math.
“Amma says that intelligence alone is not enough, intuition is also necessary,” Swamiji stated in his benedictory address. He explained that in order to become a “real” doctor, intuition is only possible by having intense love for one’s patients and one’s profession. “Doctors should be thankful to their patients because they are learning from the patients.”
Dr. Krishnamoorthy, Registrar, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, in his presidential address, reminded the young doctors that the future reputation of Amrita will depend on their performance. “As allopathic doctors you should have commitment and devotion to your areas, and also try to understand the strength of other systems,” he advised.
Padma Vibhushan Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, Secretary to the Department of Space, Govt. of India, also the former Chairman of ISRO was the invited chief guest. “Because of Chancellor Amma’s vision, Amrita has emerged as a global institution with excellent facilities and standards,” he stated. “You are equipped to handle and face challenges for the benefit of humankind.”
India’s rural population lacked adequate and affordable health care facilities and Dr. Nair spoke of their plight. “The insurmountable problems of no access to safe drinking water, open drainage systems, indiscriminate disposal of waste and industry effluence into water bodies and uncontrolled growth of large slums are all matters of serious concern for India,” he reiterated.
Dr. Nair counseled that it was a prime responsibility of doctors “to spend at least part of their careers and part of their resources” in serving the rural population. “Your attitude and values should reflect concern for fellow humans. Study the local people in more depth, identify basic causes of problems and try to see what preventative measures can be used,” he underlined.
Administered by Dr. Prathapan Nair, Principal of the School of Medicine, the graduating doctors recited the Hippocratic Oath, reading from their red and gold scrolls. Dr. Ganapathy Rao, Faculty Representative, requested that some of the new doctors consider becoming instructors, reminding them that the practice of medicine involves life-long learning, until one’s last breath.
Professor K.T. Molly, Principal, College of Nursing, gave a touching description of the doctor-patient relationship. “When a stethoscope is put to a patient’s chest, a lifeline of trust and expectation is established between the two … The key is discovering that whatever you do, you have to give your best with your mind, heart and soul.”
Numerous prizes, medals and certificates were awarded for excellence in academics, performance and research in the various departments. In addition, doctors and paramedical staff who provided relief services after the floods in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka during this last year were recognized for their heroic efforts.