Stethoscopes that carry special meaning
By Alex Branch
Medical students reach many memorable milestones on their journeys to becoming doctors and receiving their first stethoscope is one of them.
But the stethoscopes awarded to 232 new Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine students this week came with extra meaning — all were sponsored and paid for by generous alumni and donors.
“I won’t just use this for the next four years,” first-year student Sagar Shah said. “I’ll use it throughout my lifetime, wherever my career in medicine takes me.”
This is the first year UNT Health Science Center has offered the opportunity to sponsor a Littmann Cardiology IV stethoscope for incoming students. For a $500 gift, donors are matched with new students. All leftover money supports TCOM student scholarships.
Donors’ names and, if they choose, words of encouragement are engraved on the stethoscopes. “Welcome to the Family” and “Listen” were among the inscriptions this year.
The personalized nature of the gift carried great meaning for students. Sylvia Keiser, a first-year student, said was driven to study medicine because her father was often ill during her childhood and she spent a lot of time in hospitals. He died when she was in 7th grade.
She vowed that she would “personalize” the care she one day provides her patients, learning about their personalities and families.
“This is a great way to remind us that we don’t just leave the Health Science Center after we graduate,” Keiser said, admiring her stethoscope. “You go out in the world and represent the Health Science Center every day in the way you treat and care for your patients.”
Students wrote letters of gratitude to their donors. Many students chose to explain why they are interested in medicine and thank the donor for investing in their futures.
“It’s a terrific thing to do,” Shah said. “Our job is to go make them proud.”