MD Program Class of 2027 Celebrates White Coat Ceremony
August 11, 2023
By Lisa Ryan
The MD program class of 2027 gathered at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia on Friday, August 11, to celebrate their entry into medical school with the White Coat Ceremony. The tradition underscores students’ commitment to the duties and values of the medical profession.
The MD program's approximately 300 incoming students include the first class of those based at the new Health Sciences Building in University City. Students attending Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health in West Reading, Pa are the third entering class to do so since the regional medical campus opened there in 2021.
Students spent the week becoming familiar with the College of Medicine, their campuses, and one another in the week ahead of the White Coat Ceremony. The ceremony was the culminating event in a week of activities, from information sessions to icebreakers.
In the nationally-recognized ceremony, incoming medical students don their white coats, a symbol of clinical care and compassionate service. They also recite the Physician's Pledge, the contemporary successor to the 2,500-year-old Hippocratic Oath, affirming their commitment to a physician’s responsibilities even before their coursework has begun.
On Friday, Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs Charles B. Cairns, MD welcomed the students to the College of Medicine family.
“Today we welcome this entering class of students into the Drexel University College of Medicine community and the medical profession,” Cairns said. “The White Coat Ceremony serves to remind us that our white coats are ‘cloaks of compassion.’ In donning yours, you accept the responsibilities inherent in the study and practice of medicine: to care for all aspects of your patients’ wellbeing, not just the health of their bodies.”
Students’ families and friends joined College of Medicine faculty members in person and online via live-stream to celebrate this important step in the future physicians’ medical school journeys. The College’s a cappella group, Doctor’s Note welcomed their new classmates with a performance.
Incoming students heard a keynote speech from Renee M. Turchi, MD, MPH, a professor and academic chair of the Department of Pediatrics, at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and clinical research professor at Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health.
“As you provide care throughout your medical school education and beyond, embody humanism and professionalism through your healing hands,” Turchi said. “I challenge you on this journey to leave this world a better place than you found it, and as such, as you’re cloaked this morning, embrace –as Dean Cairns said— your white coat as a cloak of compassion.”