For many, the White Coat Ceremony represents the beginning of a medical student’s journey to become a doctor; but receiving your first stethoscope embodies the practice of doctoring – using science and technology to listen and determine what is happening to a patient.
On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the Class of 2023 came together for the second annual Lorraine Stanfield Memorial Doctoring Lecture, with special guest speakers Drs. Elizabeth Ferrenz, Nanette Harvey, Robert Lowe and Katie Harris. The goals of this enlightening lecture are to help students more deeply understand the healing role of physician-patient interactions, the important function the physical examination plays in caring for and diagnosing patients, and to connect these themes to Dr. Stanfield’s career as a primary care clinician and medical educator.
“I’m sorry that you don’t get to meet Lorraine. She was a great colleague, a great friend, a great family member. But you’re going to meet her in little bits and pieces. You’ll meet her in the people she’s trained who are now training you, including me, our residents, our medical students and every bit of her that tells you how to talk, deal with and care for a patient” said Dr. Lowe.
After the lecture, students received the tool crucial to begin their practice: stethoscope kits generously donated by more than 80 BUSM alumni. Along with their stethoscope, they received a copy of Dr. Atul Gawande’s book, “Being Mortal,” donated annually by Dr. Elizabeth Dooling, MED’65.
“I speak for the whole class when I say ‘thank you.’ Receiving something like this and feeling the support of others that have gone through the same thing is really something special,” said student Antonio Diaz.
Upon opening their kits, which also included a diagnostic set, blood pressure cuff, tuning forks, reflex hammer and a gown, students found a card complete with the name and contact information of their alumni donor. Gathered together as a class, they tried out their new stethoscopes and wrote thank you notes to the donors who made the day possible.
“One of the hallmarks of being a doctor is paying it forward. Receiving this stethoscope has made me feel like the doctors that graduate from BU follow in that tradition. I hope I can do the same when I become a doctor,” said student Steven Moura.
The event, held annually since 2007, highlights the importance of alumni involvement in supporting current School of Medicine students and initiatives. See more on Facebook. If you would like to donate a stethoscope to future classes, please visit www.bu.edu/give2busm.