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Class of 2019 Receives First White Coats

August 11, 2015

Students donning coats at the 2015 White Coat ceremony

Drexel University College of Medicine welcomed 263 new medical students during the annual White Coat Ceremony on August 7. This tradition is celebrated by medical schools across the country and is an important first step for these future physicians as they receive the traditional symbol of clinical care and service — the white coat.

Each of the bright and enthusiastic men and women donned their new white coats in a ballroom filled to capacity with cheering loved ones. They then recited the Hippocratic Oath. Doing so at the beginning of their education in the presence of family, significant others, friends, faculty, board members, administrators and alumni makes the students more aware of their responsibility from the very first day of their training, not just to "take care" of their patients but to care for them. The Oath is a promise to practice medicine ethically.

The new medical students were welcomed by Valerie Weber, MD, vice dean for educational affairs; Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, Annenberg Dean and SVP for medical affairs; and Raymond Schreyer, MD, president of the Alumni Association. The event's keynote speaker was Barbara Simon, MD, chief of the Division of Endocrinology and associate professor in the Department of Medicine.

The first White Coat Ceremony took place in 1993 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. The concept has spread to encompass 90 percent of medical schools nationwide. It was designed to produce a generation of physicians with a renewed focus on compassion.

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