Aspiring docs get to wear coat of care

NTU medical students receiving white coats in a special ceremony yesterday. The coats symbolise the knowledge and compassion that they must exercise in the future.
NTU medical students receiving white coats in a special ceremony yesterday. The coats symbolise the knowledge and compassion that they must exercise in the future.ST PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

For medical student Nadia Nasuha Mohammad Nazri, being a doctor is all about the human touch.

She recalled how a doctor at Changi General Hospital soothed her grandfather's fears when he was warded for a month for surgery.

"(The doctor) was very empathetic to patients like my grandfather, who has a fear of surgery," the 19-year-old recalled.

"She treated him very well - not just verbally but also by way of her body language - and she was really a role model."

Ms Nadia was one of 108 students at the Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) white coat ceremony yesterday - where aspiring young doctors are given the white coat that symbolises the knowledge and compassion that they must exercise in the future.

MODEL OF COMPASSION

(The doctor) was very empathetic to patients like my grandfather, who has a fear of surgery. She treated him very well - not just verbally but also by way of her body language - and she was really a role model.

MS NADIA NASUHA MOHAMMAD NAZRI, a medical student, recalling how a doctor had soothed her grandfather's concerns.

This year's cohort is the university's largest to date, and is double the size of the inaugural class of 54 students in 2013.

Among this year's intake are 20-year-old Zenneth Lim, a Ngee Ann Polytechnic graduate whose interest in medicine turned into a passion during his polytechnic years; and 21-year- old Jonathan Loke, who spent four months in Geneva earlier this year on an internship with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Mr Loke recalled how inspired he was by the stories of his colleagues in Geneva.

"They were willing to step out of their comfort zones and do something for the greater good," he said.

Linette Lai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2016, with the headline 'Aspiring docs get to wear coat of care'. Print Edition | Subscribe