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New doctors take their oath

Seven new doctors were sworn into service on Friday afternoon after they had studied for up to seven years at the National University of Samoa's (N.U.S.) School of Medicine.

The ceremony was hosted by the Ministry of Health at Moto'otua, where the seven graduates proudly strode before their peers, families and friends as well as Health officials who congratulated and officially welcomed the new doctors into the workforce.

The Hippocratic Oath for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree graduates was administered by Namulau'ulu Dr. Nu'ualofa Potoi, a representative of the Samoan Medical Council.

A N.U.S. Bachelor's Degree of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery was awarded to Dr. Celestun Tipama'a; Dr. Charlotte Johnston; Dr. Elaine Sililo; Dr. Laine Linda Elia; Dr. Margret I'umalo Sesega; Dr. Michaelangelo Leota; and Dr. Tito Jerome Kamu.

Long time serving physician, Asiata Dr. Satupaitea Viali also spoke during the ceremony, sharing his experience and advice for the new doctors. He reminded them to make God the foundation of their lives and service to the people of Samoa.

Dr. Satupaitea also encouraged the young doctors to regard this achievement as just one of many to come.

Speaking during the ceremony on behalf of the Ministry Director-General, Dr. Monalisa Punivalu, and clinical teachers of the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital where the graduates had been undergoing training in the past years, Dr. Punivalu congratulated the young doctors. 

"I congratulate you for all the hard work of seven years or more that you have been toiling day and night... and speaking from the Ministry of Health perspective, you are now also an employee or staff of the Ministry of Health," she said.

The seven young doctors will now be working under a provisional registration for the next two years before they become fully registered.

"It all comes down to what has been shared this afternoon, that there is one person who will be there with you in this journey. When Jesus our Lord was here more than 2000 years ago, one of the works that he did was healing," Dr. Punivalu continued.

"You have been there as students and now you are there as young doctors. You see the work is very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging."

She also extended her congratulations and appreciation to the graduates' families and parents, acknowledging their contribution to their children's success.

"We thank you for raising your sons and daughters for Samoa. Health is a service, health is being a servant, it's a service provider, it's not a career where you seek for yourself, it's a career where you serve others," said Dr. Punivalu.

"I can already testify that they are all very good doctors, they have very excellent attitudes. We are very proud of our graduates from the National University of Samoa."

To the rest of the medical students, Dr. Punivalu offered his encouragement: "We want you to graduate, don't get left behind, don't stay longer in medical school than necessary, so study hard."

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