Liverpool medical students graduate in virtual ceremony

The University of Liverpool’s School of Medicine Class of 2020 have graduated as junior doctors and received personal thanks for their efforts during the Covid-19 crisis from England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

The special online graduation ceremony took place yesterday and allows the 240 new graduates, many of whom have been volunteering at local hospital trusts during the pandemic, to seek registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) and officially join the NHS workforce.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer, congratulated the students on their remarkable achievements and thanked them for their courage and selflessness in stepping up to support the NHS in its hour of need.

Professor Dame Janet Beer said: “Without doubt one of the University community’s greatest sources of pride has been the quite incredible way in which our medical and other healthcare students have stepped forward and eagerly volunteered to help on the front line.

“In treating patients who would otherwise have struggled to access the same level of care, and, in facing the real threat of contracting an infection themselves as a result, they have demonstrated courage, selflessness and, quite simply, all the requisite qualities of the exceptional clinicians they have become.

“Their work has made an inestimable difference to patients right across the City Region and to their loved ones, too, who I know will be forever grateful for all that they have done. We are in awe of their service to the NHS and indebted to each and every one of them.”

The Vice-Chancellor was joined at the ceremony by Professor Hazel Scott, Dean of School of Medicine, and Professor Louise Kenny, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health and Life Sciences, to witness the cohort take a virtual hippocratic oath.

The graduates were also surprised with a special video message from England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, who said: “Congratulations to the University of Liverpool medical Class of 2020, you’re now formally joining the best profession in the world. I know that many of you have volunteered to work during the Covid crisis and along with everyone in the UK I’d really like to thank you for doing that.”

Chloe Queenan was one of the final year medical students who represented the Class of 2020 by reciting the Declaration of Geneva at the ceremony. She said: “Although this wasn’t the way we were expecting our time at university to end, these past couple of months have been a really great introduction to our new career. There has been a real sense of solidarity between all the 5th years going through it together, especially because our normal lives have changed so much.

“I plan on sticking around Liverpool for a little while, seeing friends and enjoying Liverpool for the last time. I’ll then be returning home to spend some time with my family before I move to Sheffield to start my job as a junior doctor in July.”

Watch the ceremony