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Class of 2026 White Coat Ceremony

Friday, August 5th at 11:00 a.m. 
 

Congratulations to the Class of 2026!

We are excited to invite our entering class and their friends and family to an in person celebration welcoming them to the Drexel community, and to the medical community.

This celebration, the White Coat Ceremony, is a nationally recognized tradition. Incoming medical students come together to put on their white coats, a symbol of clinical care and compassionate service, and to recite the Physician’s Pledge. Taking these steps in the presence of family, friends, and educators helps students realize their responsibilities from the first day of their medical studies.

Friday, August 5, 2022
11:00 a.m.
The Academy of Music
240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19102

Download the program.

 
 

About the White Coat Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony was established in 1993 by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. It was designed to encourage a renewed focus on compassion among future generations of physicians.

Wearing their white “cloaks of compassion,” entering students take the Declaration of Geneva’s Physician’s Pledge, the contemporary successor to the 2500-year old Hippocratic Oath, for the first time in the presence of family, friends, faculty, board members, administrators and alumni affirming their commitment to the professional duties of physicians and the ethical principles of the medical profession they have now joined.

Taking the Pledge at the beginning of their education 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.

 

 

 

Order of Events

 
 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

WELCOME

Charles B. Cairns, MD
Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs

OPENING REMARKS

Donna M. Russo, PhD
William Maul Measey Chair in Medical Education, Interim Vice Dean for Education Affairs, Senior Associate Dean for Curriculum, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

WELCOME FROM THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Edward Siegel, MD ’12, MBA
President, AlumniAssociation

MUSICAL WELCOME FROM DOCTOR’S NOTE

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

James B. Reilly, MD
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Allegheny Programs, Associate Professor of Medicine

ROLL CALL OF THE CLASS 2026

Kelly M. Brenan, MD
Edward Gracely, PhD
Vanessa Pirrone, PhD
Kristen Ryczak, MD
Todd I. Strochlic, PhD, VMD

ADMINISTRATION OF THE PHYSICIAN’S PLEDGE

Karen Restifo, MD, JD
Regional Vice Dean, College of Medicine at Tower Health, Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine

CLOSING REMARKS

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

COVID 19 – At the present time the Academy of Music is NOT requiring masking or proof of vaccination. Any change to this protocol will be determined by the Academy of Music management and guidance from the Philadelphia Health Department and communicated by the Office of Student Affairs. More information regarding the Kimmel Cultural Campus Covid protocol can be found here: https://www.kimmelculturalcampus.org/plan-your-visit/safe-clean-commitment/

 
 

Class of 2026 Students — Rehearsal Hall — 3rd Floor (Locust St. Entrance)

Do I need a ticket to enter? No, Class of 2026 students do not need a ticket to attend the White Coat Ceremony.

When should I arrive? Report time 10:00 a.m.– sharp!

Where do I go when I arrive at the Academy of Music? Class of 2026 students should go immediately to the check-in table located at the Locust Street entrance. Once checked in, students will go to Rehearsal Hall for staging.

I have personal items with me (purse, jacket etc.). Can I bring it into Rehearsal Hall with me? NO - Class of 2026 students may not leave any personal belongings in the staging room. We will not be returning to that space after the ceremony. Please leave any personal items with your family/friends before entering Rehearsal Hall.

I’m not registered, but I want to participate in the White Coat Ceremony. What do I do? Please reach out to the Director of Student Affairs – Ariel Basch – alg379@drexel.edu

What should I wear? The White Coat Ceremony is a formal event. We ask that students wear professional business attire. As the Academy of Music is a historic venue, please be aware that the stairways are steep and narrow. Please make sure you wear shoes that you can easily walk in (including walking upstairs and downstairs from the Rehearsal Room on the third floor). If you choose to wear a dress, we recommend wearing one that is longer than your short white coat. You will be processing on stage with your white coat over your arm, so your professional attire will be visible to the audience. 

May I carry my child across stage? Due to COVID, only students and faculty members are permitted on stage.

Will I be permitted to have a family member cloak me during the White Coat Ceremony? Per Dr. Seema Baranwal – Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs:

“Drexel University College of Medicine as an institution has done away with family hooding at Commencement and family cloaking at the White Coat Ceremony. These family hoodings/cloakings were last done in 2019. College of Medicine leadership had decided to forego it in 2020 (prior to COVID) as we had reviewed a GSA national listserv survey and nationally - many schools are doing away with it because of equity issues. Our mission includes increasing first generation and underrepresented in medicine (URiM) students, along with nontraditional students – many of whom do not have family, DUCOM faculty or DUCOM/legacy schools’ alumni who can hood them. The thought is that it highlights privilege and not necessarily the students and their accomplishments. When reviewed with Student Government Association leadership, they expressed their support in removing this tradition in 2020 (even the ones with DUCOM alumni parents) as they wanted all students to be showcased in any equitable way.”

Are food and drink permitted at the venue? Food and drink are not permitted in the venue.

How do I receive my guests’ tickets? Guest ticket pickup will be offered on campus the week leading up to the White Coat Ceremony. It is each student’s responsibility to coordinate ticket distribution to your guests. Please watch for an email from the Office of Student Affairs.

How can those unable to attend in person watch the ceremony? The ceremony will be livestreamed on the College’s YouTube channel on Friday, August 5 at 11:00 a.m. ET from the Academy of Music, Philadelphia.

Where is the bathroom? Volunteers and Academy of Music staff can direct you to the nearest bathroom.

Will parking be available? Yes! There are several parking garages located near the Academy of Music. A limited number of parking spots are available for purchase at the Kimmel Center (300 S. Broad St). There are several parking garages located near the Kimmel Center/Academy of Music on Broad Street including the Symphony House Garage (440. S. Broad St.) and the Juniper and Locust Garage (1327 Locust St.) You may also use SpotHero to make a parking reservation in advance.

Faculty — Ballroom, 2nd Floor (Broad St. Entrance)

Where do I go when I arrive at the Academy of Music? Faculty should report to the Ballroom on the 2nd Floor by 10:00 a.m. Volunteers will direct you to the Ballroom.

Do I need a ticket to enter? No, faculty do not need a ticket to attend the White Coat Ceremony.

How do I register to participate in the White Coat Ceremony? Please RSVP to our White Coat Ceremony Faculty and Special Guest RSVP Form HERE.

I’m not registered, but I want to participate in the White Coat Ceremony. What do I do? At the present time you must pre-register for this event.

Where is the bathroom? Volunteers and Academy of Music staff can direct you to the nearest bathroom.

I need to borrow a white coat for the ceremony. How do I obtain one? The Office of Student Affairs will have white coats available. Please make note of this on your official RSVP.

Guests — Academy of Music

Where do I sit, and what time can I enter the Main Hall? General admission tickets will be distributed for this event. Ushers are present on each tier and will help you find a seat. Guests may enter the Main Hall beginning at 10:30 a.m.

How long will the ceremony run? We expect the White Coat Ceremony to run from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Will parking be available? Yes! There are several parking garages located near the Academy of Music. A limited number of parking spots are available for purchase at the Kimmel Center (300 S. Broad St). There are several parking garages located near the Kimmel Center/Academy of Music on Broad Street including the Symphony House Garage (440. S. Broad St.) and the Juniper and Locust Garage (1327 Locust St.) You may also use SpotHero to make a parking reservation in advance.

I have a child with me—do they need a ticket? Any child over the age of 5 needs a ticket. If your child cannot comfortably sit on your lap without blocking the views of those behind you, they need their own seat.

I have a handicapped guest with me. When can we enter the theater? It is recommended that all handicapped guests arrive early so that event staff can show them to their seats. These guests will be invited to enter the Main Hall at 10:15 a.m. Please see the Academy of Music ushers for further instructions.

I have tickets available in my name. Where do I pick them up? If you are informed that you have tickets available for pick up, they will be in an envelope with your name on it at the Will Call Table in the lobby.

Where can I leave tickets for a guest? You may leave any tickets for a friend at the Will Call Table in the lobby.

Where is the bathroom? Volunteers and Academy of Music staff can direct you to the nearest bathroom.

 
More FAQs will be added as we continue to finalize details for the White Coat ceremony.

 
 

The Physician's Pledge

AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION

I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to dedicate my life to the service of humanity;

THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;

I WILL RESPECT the autonomy and dignity of my patient;

I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;

I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;

I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;

I WILL PRACTICE my profession with conscience and dignity and in accordance with good medical practice;

I WILL FOSTER the honor and noble traditions of the medical profession;

I WILL GIVE to my teachers, colleagues and students the respect and gratitude that is their due;

I WILL SHARE my medical knowledge for the benefit of the patient and the advancement of healthcare;

I WILL ATTEND TO my own health, well-being and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard;

I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;

I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely and upon my honor.

©2017 World Medical Association

 
 

Sponsors and Donors

The White Coat Ceremony has been generously co-sponsored by:

The Benjamin J. Cottone, MD, HU ’31
White Coat Ceremony Endowment Memorial Fund

The Drexel University College of Medicine Alumni Association and Office of Student Affairs and Career Advising

The white coats and stethoscopes are provided through the generosity of alumni and friends who welcome each student with a note of congratulations. A special “thank you” is extended to our leadership donors:

Robert M. Abbott, MD, MCP ’85, and Marian Amy Caplan, MD, HU ’81

Moiz M. Carim, MD; BS electrical engineering ’73

Stuart J. Feldman, MD, MCP ’90

Cheryl A. Hanau, MD, and Kathleen Frances Ryan, MD, HU ’91

Diane Hochlerin, MD, WMC ’66

Ian B. K. Martin, MD, MCPHU ’00; MBA

Raymond S. Schreyer, MD, HU ’78, and Nancy Kraft Schreyer, PhD, HU ’79

“Keeping Healthcare Human” pins provided as a gift from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, initiators of the first White Coat Ceremony in 1993.