ORANJESTAD: Diabierna anochi, Minister Endy Croes tabata presente na American University School of Medicine Aruba (AUSOMA) na Eagle, unda a tuma luga inauguracion di e edificio nobo y alabes a tene e “White Coat Ceremony”. Durante e anochi ameno Minister Endy Croes tabatin e honor dirigi palabra na esnan presente specialmente na e sudiantenan.
Speech di Minister Endy Croes:
I am honored to stand here this evening in my capacity as the Minister of Education & Sports, to celebrate another great moment. Welcome to the American University of Medicine Aruba in the historical heart of Oranjestad.
I am thankful for having the opportunity to address to all of you for the first time, not only for the ‘White Coat Ceremony’, but also to celebrate the inauguration of your new campus. What a beautiful place! As the Minister of Education, I can only be proud, very proud that you established your fine institution on our small but beautiful island and today you are putting the ‘White Coat’ over the shoulders of a number of your fine students; future physicians who will be working in different medical institutions all over the world. The Government of Aruba is committed to elevate, the quality of health care on the island, and with the knowledge and experience brought by the American University of Medicine Aruba and its students, will provide Aruba with more opportunities to adjust our policies and elevate our health care services.
I am thankful for this invitation, because to be able to write a short speech. I am forced to take some time to conduct some research on my own. (I am not a doctor, neither a researcher) So, this time my research was related to the ‘White Coat’. I was invited to deliver a speech for the ‘White Coat Ceremony’. I know, physicians put on a white coat, but suddenly I asked myself, what does this white coat symbolize?
I found out that the color white is a symbol of purity, and the white coat symbolizes the purity of purpose being affirmed, in becoming a health professional. The White Coat ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students and was created by the Arnold (P.) Gold Foundation in 1993. (30 years ago). The White Coat ceremony, according to Arnold Gold, is much more than a convention, where you get to meet people networking and drink wine. It is a representation of the great culture of the medical profession. The white coat ceremony reflects the goodness that underlies the work of doctors, in this case future doctors, including altruism, compassion, understanding, empathy, responsibility, duty, honor, and respect. Should I say more? I guess not. This ceremony is a great deal.
I am a politician, and regretfully I have no expertise in the medical field whatsoever, because this is certainly a beautiful field to work in. Having the opportunity to address you this evening made me aware of what this ‘White Coat’ stands for. Thank you for this inspiration, and I surely will take the virtues of the ‘White Coat’ with me and apply them in my own profession.
Students, you may not all be born in Aruba, but I am sure that once you become physicians, and wherever your career takes you, you will take each experience such as this one with you, enabling you to carry a piece of our small nation in your hearts. Please take some time to reflect on your arrival in Aruba, maybe looking for housing, having some fun in the sun, and I am sure some of you will look back on your first day of medical school. Today is the first chapter of your journey!
I believe you went successfully through many lectures, lab hours, and training sessions. Today is a milestone of one great step you took to become a health care professional. Continue to endure; this is the beginning, but soon you will hold something that few people are privileged to sign behind their name: the letters “M.D.” Medical Doctor.
While this day is about you, please also realize there are some very special and important team players that gave your support to get you where you are today. First and foremost, your parents, your families, who have encouraged you, guided you, and likely funded much of your way to this point. Your teachers, professors, friends, and everyone that supports you. Remember to thank each one of them. From today on, don’t forget to be grateful every day.
Grateful to have support, grateful for your capacity and competencies that brought you here and especially grateful that you now will have the opportunity to serve others. You choose a beautiful and rewarding career. I am certain that there are wonderful aspects of medicine you will be experiencing.
When you become physicians, people will look up to you, People will respect what you do and what you say. People will trust you, confide in you, believe in you, admire you, appreciate your efforts and even love you. You can do amazing things for people. Because in the end, this is what really matters, right?! So go forward, not only with a glow about what you are going to achieve, but with the stark reality of what lies ahead.
To end this address to you, permit me to share a quote I found during my research project, writing this speech. I found many, but I liked this one very much. It is a quote by Dr. Donald Berwick. It says: ‘You see, today you take a big step into power. With your white coat and your Latin, with your anatomy lessons and your stethoscope, you enter today’s life of new and immense privilege.’
Congratulations to AUSOMA on this beautiful new campus. Congratulations to the students, professors, and family members. Thank you for having me. Masha Danki.