Thursday 19 July was the day that we’d all been waiting for. After four years of hard work, just over 150 men and women walked across the stage at the Arts Centre, shook hands with the Chancellor of Warwick University, and collected MB ChB degree certificates from the head of the programme. I was honoured and delighted to be among them. When I accepted the offer from Warwick Medical School back in April 2014, I didn’t know what to expect but I never thought it would be like this. I didn’t think I would make such good friends, learn such a huge amount of information, and miss the environment of WMS so much once I’d left.
The day itself went by in a roasting blur – this wasn’t helped by combining the month-long heatwave and wearing very heavy black robes on a sunny day in July! But it doesn’t matter – at least if we have one thing in common, other than that all graduates were a sweaty mess by the end of the day, it’s that we actually did it! We actually graduated from medical school! In the ceremony itself, we listened to some fantastic music by Warwick musicians, heard some inspiring speeches (including one to the MB ChB graduates in particular by an alumna) and got to applaud our coursemates as we watched them all officially become doctors.
Probably the most inspiring moment of the entire ceremony was the recitation by all MB ChB graduates of the Oath of Geneva, led by a member of our cohort. I normally hold myself together well, but I have to admit to a small lump in the back of my throat by the end of the oath. We all promised before ourselves, our families and each other to take seriously our responsibility to providing the best care possible and be the best doctors we can be, and the oath was a public commitment to this. It represented what we had been working for this whole time, and now we are entrusted with some serious responsibility.
After the ceremony, which honestly flew by, we paraded out to the stone steps on the piazza and gathered for the (in)famous group picture that will grace the walls of the Medical Teaching Centre for years to come alongside every other graduating year. Grouping us by height made herding cats look easy! The poor photographers – at least they’re making good money from the cost of the photograph. Yikes! We got one nice, formal snap and one with our hats thrown in the air, and I cannot wait to get mine in the post. Following the photograph free-for-all, the medical school was kind enough to put on a very nice lunch buffet for graduates and guests. The food was lovely and the atmosphere was great. Finally I got to meet the parents and families of my friends and acquaintances – the ones who had tales of support and sympathy similar to those my own family tell. It was a wonderful experience and one which I shall always remember.
It seems we have now come to the end of the road. At this point, it only remains for me to thank you, dear reader, for following this blog and gamely tolerating my adventures in medical school and throughout Warwickshire and the West Midlands over these years. I wish you the best, wherever you may be, and I remain respectfully yours.