On September 5, 2012, Einstein held its annual Stethoscope for First-Year Students: Becoming a Doctor Ceremony to mark an important milestone for the class of 2016. The doctors-in-training, who begin the physical diagnosis portion of their education, were gathered in Robbins Auditorium to receive an important tool – their stethoscopes.
During this phase of their clinical training, students begin utilizing an interpersonal style of learning that incorporates patients and actors portraying patients. The stethoscopes are symbolic of the connection between doctor and patient that develops during these critical face-to-face interactions.
The evening’s program included inspiring talks from a variety of distinguished faculty members, including Dr. Felise Milan, director of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) course; Dr. Martha Grayson, senior associate dean of medical education; Dr. Martin Cohen, professor of medicine (cardiology); and Dr. Mimi McEvoy, co-director of the ICM for second-year students.
The highlight of the ceremony was the presence of and presentation by Dr. James Post, a member of Einstein’s Alumni Board of Governors and of Einstein’s Class of 1997. In delivering the keynote address, Dr. Post – a quadriplegic as a result of an accident at the age of 14 – shared how he was given the chance to study at Einstein when all other medical schools had denied him the opportunity. Dr. Post is currently assistant professor of nephrology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and an attending physician in nephrology at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. His success is proof that there is more to being a great doctor than the completion of physical tasks.
While he must enlist the aid of a personal assistant to hold his own stethoscope to a patient’s chest, Dr. Post listens to the heart of the patient, and listens to the patient’s story. He told students, “The act of listening to each individual is one of the greatest tools a doctor has in properly analyzing and diagnosing a patient.”
At the ceremony’s conclusion, the Class of 2016 received their stethoscopes, which were donated by Einstein alumni members. And with this precious tool in hand, they can begin to learn from and to connect with patients.
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