Dental students take the oath
Final-year dentistry and oral hygiene students received the send-off of a lifetime when UWC’s Faculty of Dentistry hosted its annual Oath-taking and prize-giving ceremony on 24 November 2014.
Students pledged the Hippocratic Oath in the University’s main hall, committing themselves to serving the public to the best of their abilities at all times, and top performers were honoured.
Messages of congratulations and advice from various prominent speakers from the University and from the oral health and dental industry armed and prepared oral hygiene students for private practice and dental students for their community service year that will begin in January 2015.
Professor Yusuf Osman, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, set the tone in his opening address, praising and acknowledging the contributions of the retiring Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian O’Connell, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ramesh Bharuthram – who were presented with two luxury leather chairs as gifts for helping the faculty to grow in “leaps and bounds” to be the largest dentistry faculty in South Africa and on the African continent. He also reminded the students that on receiving their degrees that they also earn the respect and trust of the people they will serve. It was now up to the students to maintain that respect and grow the trust in the UWC brand.
Bharuthram congratulated students and wished them well for their future, reminding them that 20 years of democracy in South Africa had just scratched the surface in terms of achieving an equal society, and urged them to provide the best health services to all, particularly to the poor.
Dr Roux Vermeulen, chairman of the South African Dental Association Board of Directors, related a few stories that depicted the ills that beset society, and urged students to observe fair practice and to trust in their capabilities.“Respect all your patients, never take short cuts and always work within the boundaries and scope of your practices. Always do what is best for your patients.”
Gail Smith, chairperson of the Western Cape branch of the Oral Hygiene Association of South Africa echoed Vermeulen’s sentiments and encouraged students to always conduct themselves within high ethical standards.“Always act responsibly and in a professional manner,” she said. “Respect your clients, your colleagues and the community at large – that is of utmost importance.”