The platform enabled students to upload videos of themselves reading the oath, while supporters and teaching staff were able to upload moving and uplifting messages of pride and support.

Medical students joining fight against COVID-19 honoured in first Exeter virtual graduation

Medicine students who opted to graduate early to accelerate becoming junior doctors in the COVID-19 crisis fashioned home-made mortarboards to take part in the University of Exeter’s first virtual graduation.

Ninety five final year students chose to graduate three months early so that they can join NHS colleagues in Exeter and the South West in fighting the disease.

While a physical graduation is impossible in lockdown, the University honoured the students in its first ever virtual ceremony. Many of the students fashioned home-made mortarboards in lieu of traditional gowns. The ceremony included the students and lecturers reading the Hippocratic Oath together. The oath is a significant and moving aspect of graduation which includes a pledge to treat the ill to the best of one's ability, and to preserve a patient's privacy.

The platform enabled students to upload videos of themselves reading the oath, while supporters and teaching staff were able to upload moving and uplifting messages of pride and support.

Professor Ian Fussell, Vice Dean Education for the University of Exeter Medical School 500 Internal Server Error

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The University is planning a full traditional graduation ceremony at a later date.

Cassie Brewer, 23-year-old Medicine student from Fowey, Cornwall, said: “When COVID-19 was announced a pandemic, I was on my elective year in Australia. The decision to graduate early was easy, I feel ready to step up as a doctor. After experiencing several healthcare systems throughout the world, I know that our beloved NHS is something to be proud of. It will be an absolute honour to become a member of the NHS team a little early. 

“Me and my class wanted to become doctors to make a difference and to help people - this is our time to do just that”. Cassie will be working as a junior doctor at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.  

Tasa Uney, 22-year-old Medicine student from Bristol, said: “I was on my medical elective in Peru whilst the Covid-19 crisis was unfolding in the UK and found it difficult to get back, eventually securing a repatriation flight. When we got back, it was evident that the UK was a different place to the one we left just one month ago.

“I was eager to be put forward for early graduation as I want to have a purpose during this chaotic time and give back to the hospital that supported me as a medical student. I’m really proud of my year group and how everyone has been supporting each other. I feel lucky that we’re such a close community and although we cannot have the conventional graduation we were looking forward to yet, I’m grateful the university are marked the day with an online ceremony.” Tasa will start working at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust after her graduation before starting her secured job at Liverpool University Hospitals Trust in August.

 

 

Date: 9 April 2020

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