DO Class of 2019 Receives White CoatsOctober 6, 2015
On Saturday, Oct. 3, 283 first-year osteopathic medical students took their first
step toward becoming physicians during PCOM’s White Coat Ceremony.
A significant rite of passage, the White Coat Ceremony is a tradition at most medical
schools. The ceremony is designed to establish a psychological contract for beginning
medical students that stresses the importance of compassionate care for the patient
and professionalism as well as scientific proficiency.
Students heard from Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81, president and CEO; Ken Veit, DO ’76,
MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean; and Harry Morris,
DO ’78, MPH, chair of family medicine. Michael J. Zawisza, DO ’86, president of the
Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, congratulated the students after they
had received their white coats.
Students representing years two, three and four also shared their perspectives on
what the white coat meant to them. "My white coat marks me as someone given the opportunity
to care for others, said Kelly Mowatt, class of 2017.
The ceremony concluded with the class of 2019 reciting the vision statement they had
crafted during orientation. The students pledged to “dedicate ourselves to the evolution
of our medical training and emotional intelligence,” and “to be cognizant that a patient
is more than their diagnosis, and acknowledge the person behind their disease.”
The physician’s white coat has been a part of the profession since the 19th century.
The concept originated from the operating room’s white coat, and has served as a visual
symbol of the profession that stands for the need to balance excellence in science
with compassionate caring for the patient.
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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