As Nigeria strives to meet the healthcare needs of its citizens, the College of Health Sciences (CHS), University of Port Harcourt, has again given the health sector a boost with the induction of 120 Medical Doctors and four Dental Surgeons, last Wednesday.   

Administering the Physicians' Oaths on the newly-qualified Medical and Dental Doctors, Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) represented by Dr Victor Gbenro, stressed the need for the inductees to strictly adhere to the Oaths.

Earlier in his welcome address, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, charged the new Doctors to maintain the best professional practices at all times. “I charge you to engage in continual professional training to bring your practice up-to-date with global benchmarks which defines the knowledge-based society that has no room for stagnation.” he stated. 

“It is also important that you take your knowledge of Medicine beyond general practice. I advise you to specialise in any branch of Medicine that interests you. That way, you would have justified the huge resources expended on you by the University and your parents as you prepare to render selfless service to mankind,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

In his speech, Provost, CHS, Professor Chris Akani observed that “the fresh Doctors, who hitherto could not administer any treatment on patients, can now enjoy the same rights and privileges as their teachers, as they affix the title: 'Doctor' to their names, after now.  They were green some six years ago, but today, they are loaded with skills and knowledge with which to beef up our healthcare system.”

The Provost, who congratulated the newly-qualified doctors, as well as their parents and guardians, thanked all teaching and non-teaching staff of the College, who contributed in the training of the new doctors, appealing to corporate organisations, and public-spirited individuals to assist the College in its various areas of needs.

Also speaking, Medical Elder of the Day, Dr Tarilla Tebepah, who advised the young Doctors to  be dedicated to their duties and strive to become specialists, noted that “the training of medical doctors is such that equips them to fit into different areas of human endeavours. For instance, as a Doctor, if you decide to go into politics, you will do well,” citing himself as an Ophthalmologist, who had been in and out of politics.

Dr Tebepah, who is the current  Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board, however, warned the inductees against quitting the medical profession for politics, stating that politics is not reliable, hence the need to fall back on the medical profession when politics fails.  He also approved the construction of a new College of Health Sciences Complex by NDDC, urging the Vice-Chancellor to quickly write to the Commission to formalise the approval.      

In their separate speeches, Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Professor Aaron Ojule, who spoke through former, Provost, CHS, Professor Osaretin Odia; Chairman, UPTH Management Board, Dr Segun Ogundimu; Dean Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Professor Opubo Da Lilly-Tariah advised the new Doctors on how to become successful medical practitioners, stressing the need for them to be humble and see their senior colleagues, including nurses as their teachers in practice

In her Valedictory speech, Best Graduating Student, Dr Naomi Kelechi Ossai, recounted their journey through the College, expressing gratitude to all who contributed to their success in the training.  

Highlights of the event, which drew dignitaries from all walks of life, including the representative of the Minister of Health on the UPTH Management Board, other members of the Board, proprietress of Bereton Montessori and Primary School, Mrs Victoria Diete-Spiff, was the administration of Physicians' Oath on the inductees, presentation of Port Harcourt Medical Journal and recognition of Best Graduating Students in various subjects.

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