Transition to Clinician Ceremony Is an Exciting Milestone for MD Class of 2024
April 22, 2022
By Lisa Ryan
On Monday, April 25, the College of Medicine’s MD Program Class of 2024 will gather at the Kimmel Center to celebrate students’ accomplishments in their first two years of medical education as they enter the next phase of their journey to becoming physicians. The students have completed many milestones in their early medical education virtually due to the pandemic, making the in-person Transition to Clinician Ceremony even more meaningful.
The 9 a.m. event will mark students’ entrance into the medical profession with a pinning ceremony. In the presence of faculty, staff, peers, family and friends, they will recite an oath to commit to the professional obligations, ethical principles and lifelong service to humanity the profession requires.
Every fall, incoming medical students across the country begin their educational journey with the White Coat Ceremony, making a symbolic commitment to the values and duties of the medical profession in front of their friends, family, and academic community. Due to the pandemic, the Class of 2024’s White Coat Ceremony took place entirely over Zoom.
“Even though we’ve had our white coats, it feels brand-new again because our families actually get to experience the ceremony with us and finally get to see us walk across the stage,” said Taesha Andre, MD Program Class of 2024. “And I think this means a little more to our class because we’ve been waiting for this moment, but also because we’re transitioning into our clinical years.”
La Niece Carpenter, MD Program Class of 2024, is looking forward to the ceremony and the next steps it symbolizes.
“I’m excited to be in a patient care setting, talking with patients and getting to see and practice a lot of the medical curriculum that we’ve been studying for the past two years,” she said. “I can’t wait to solidify the knowledge I’ve been gaining, and to see things outside of a textbook or classroom setting.”
Several students from the Class of 2024 submitted design ideas for the pin that will be used in Monday’s ceremony, and Carpenter’s won the majority of her classmates’ votes. Carpenter was thinking about both the classroom and the clinical sides of medical education as she worked on the emblem.
“I wanted the pin to be super-specific to our class and what we’re celebrating,” Carpenter said. “I didn’t want it to look like a pin that you would just see in a store.”
In the design, three students stand side by side in their white coats, between the Queen Lane campus’ main building and a hospital building. It was important to Carpenter that the students represented on the pin reflected some of the diversity of the Class of 2024.
“Diversity is very important to me, whether that’s in the makeup of our profession or in the communities we care for, diversity is part of everything,” Carpenter said. “So that was an essential focus of the pin, and why I put three students with different identifying factors as a central part of the design.”
Carpenter wanted the background of the design to clearly represent students’ transitional period: with Queen Lane and a stack of textbooks behind them, the students face a stethoscope and the hospital – their clinical education. Above the students’ heads, the sun is rising between the two buildings to symbolize a new beginning.
Entering medical school during the pandemic presented the Class of 2024 with many challenges but beginning their medical education over Zoom helped classmates connect in different ways, said Andrew Joseph, Class of 2024.
“We’re a close class,” Joseph said. “There were limitations to meeting over Zoom, but I think the beautiful thing about it is it allowed for people who are more shy in person to shine, along with classmates who are more outgoing.”
Joseph was chosen by his classmates to give a speech at Monday’s ceremony, and he said he plans to address the resilience of his class. Rather than being nervous to speak, he’s excited.
“We’re finally getting an in-person ceremony and celebrating that we’ve not only made it to medical school, but also made it through the toughest years,” he said. “The clinical years are what we’ve been working toward, to work with patients and find our true callings in medicine. This is really the part of medical school where people find out what kind of doctor they want to be, what kind of communities they want to help. This is really a ceremony to kick that off.”
Learn more about the Transition to Clinician Ceremony, and find the link to stream on YouTube, here: drexel.edu/medicine/news-events/events/transition-to-clinician/.