The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences under the College of Health Sciences (CoHS) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, has held its seventh White Coat Ceremony for fifth-year students to officially usher them into their clinical years of studies.
The ceremony which was held on the theme: “The Diverse Roles of the PharmD Pharmacist in an Evolving Profession” saw parents, faculty, industry players, alumni, and the general public in attendance. In his keynote address, the Director of Rock Chemist Limited, Pharm Thomas Boateng Appiagyei, said despite changes in the health sector, the values of hard work, honesty, and humble apprenticeship are to be cherished by the students if they want to make a difference.
Mr. Boateng Appiagyei continued that these values enabled him to enjoy a fruitful service in general practice, in the pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), and in his service over the years in the clinical community. He noted that there are various options for pharmacies such as supply chain management, drug importation, vaccine and immunology, quality assurance, quality control, pharmacy business, health informatics, health statistics, and pharmacy economics, among others. He said there are several opportunities in the various fields and encouraged the students to take advantage of them and venture into them when they graduate.
Using himself as an example, the Rock Chemist Limited Director, said as an employee, entrepreneur, and regulator, he approached every job with honesty and hard work, which paid off. He used the occasion to advise the students to be honest as there is no substitute for honesty. He stated that trust is an expensive commodity today, but they must strive to speak the truth to earn the trust of colleagues, superiors, partners, and stakeholders.
Provost of the CoHS, Professor Christian Agyare, also advised the students to be more focused and to pay attention to detail. He bemoaned the bad practice of students not paying attention to faculty even when sent out for clinical or internships. Professor Agyare said it has been observed that students spend time on their phones taking pictures and visiting social media sites, causing them to sometimes lose focus. The provost said ethical conduct is key and they should always behave appropriately in every setting.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ellis Owusu Dabo, cautioned the students against acts that would bring the name of the University into disrepute, He said KNUST produces disciplined products for the job market. He also reminded them of the University’s core values in their pursuit of academic and professional excellence.
The Dean of FPPS, Professor Samuel Asare-Nkansah, administered the white coat ceremony pledge to the over one hundred and ninety students. Chairperson of the White Coat Ceremony Committee, Dr. (Mrs.) Mercy Opare Addo led the gowning of the students. The students were owned by Lecturers/Preceptors, Alumni, and Parents who are Pharmacists.
This year’s event was sponsored by COSTA Pharmacy, TOBINCO Pharmaceuticals Limited, Kalapeng Pharmacies, HABMAY Pharmacy Limited, and Penri Pharmacy. Others are the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, MULTI-I Limited, UNICOM Chemist Limited, and Peniel Engineering and Supply Limited.