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Class of 2021 Receives White Coats

August 14, 2017

Drexel University College of Medicine welcomed 260 new medical students during its annual White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 11, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The ceremony is celebrated by medical schools across the country and is an important first step for future physicians as they receive the traditional symbol of clinical care and service — the white coat.

2017 Drexel White Coat Ceremony
Drexel College of Medicine Class of 2021 recites the Hippocratic Oath at the 2017 White Coat Ceremony

“It’s a tradition that reminds all of us that you are becoming part of a new community,” said Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, Annenberg Dean and senior vice president for medical affairs. “The community of medicine, of course, and the community of Drexel University College of Medicine.”

Wearing their "cloaks of compassion," new medical students recited the Hippocratic Oath, which they will swear again at graduation when they’ve completed their medical school education. This meaningful ritual, held in the presence of family and friends, helps students become aware of their responsibilities from the first day of their medical studies. The ceremony reinforces that a physician's responsibility is not only to take care of patients, but also to care for patients.

Along with Dean Schidlow, the Class of 2021 was welcomed by Valerie Weber, MD, Deborah J. Tuttle, MD and John P. Piper, MD, vice dean for educational affairs and Timothy A. Manzone, MD, JD, MCP ’89, president for the alumni association. The event’s keynote speaker was Michael A. Bohrn, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, associate dean for regional medical campus and director of medical education at WellSpan York Hospital. New to the annual event was a performance by Doctor’s Note, a student a capella group led by Dean Schidlow.

The incoming class was selected from a pool of 13,287 applicants. “You saw something special in us and we saw something special in you. So we are invested in your success. We are invested in your future,” said Dean Schidlow.

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