On Friday, my school held the first inaugural Clinical Practice Induction Ceremony. Our class fought to have a ceremony as we were the only accredited school in the area without a white coat ceremony or anything signifying our entrance in clinical practice. We were ecstatic when the faculty agreed to a pinning ceremony and we got right to planning.
On such short notice, we worked on finding a place to hold the ceremony, finding a guest speaker, figuring out a reception place and of course, ordering the pins! The last task I took upon my own hands and contacted a few companies until I found one with the right price that would be able to ship them to us within just a few weeks. They turned out great and I think everything was happy with them.
The ceremony basically consisted of us all walking in and taking our seats, followed by an opening speech by one of our professors explaining why we are all there. It was such a great introduction to the ceremony. Knowing that many of us are runners, he used running races as a metaphor for what we were doing. We did our “training” with the professors and with the course work, and now the guns about to go off and we are on our own in the clinic with them cheering us on from the sideline. They aren’t there to hold our hands, but they will be there to cheer us on and support us should we need it. I thought it was the perfect way to describe why this ceremony is so special. We have done all that we could to prepare ourselves for this moment and now we are entering the clinical world full time. The patients are real, the problems are real, and we have to actually do something about it – rather than our professors pretending to have problems that we pretend to treat.
The ceremony continued with a speech from a former student and someone who has won many prestigious awards. She reminded us that our professors have prepared us so well for this moment and we are more than ready. I know we are all feeling pretty nervous so it was nice to hear. After her speech we each got called up individually to be handed our pins. Lastly, the ceremony closed out with our class president reciting the PT Oath that we repeated after her. It all ran very smoothly and overall it went great.
After the ceremony we all stopped to snap some class pictures and family pictures.
Then we headed to a local restaurant for a little reception and dinner with family. I enjoyed dinner and a few beers with my family before they headed back home. I’m so glad they were able to come celebrate with me.
After they left, I continued to drink and hang out with classmates and eventually headed to a friend’s place to end out the night.
It was a great ceremony and a great night. I love this class and am so proud of how far we have come in the two years we have known each other. I know we will all do great things in the clinic this summer and I can’t wait to continue to hear about everyone’s experiences all summer.