More than 270 first-year DO students took their first steps toward becoming physicians
on October 1, as they received their first white coats in a ceremonial rite of passage
The class of 2021 heard from Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO; Kenneth Veit, DO ’76, MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean; and Joseph Kaczmarczyk, DO ’82, associate dean of undergraduate medical education, on the garment’s importance on
their pathway to becoming physicians. The students also heard from upperclassmen and
-women on what the white coat means to them.
“I remember being in your place just a year ago,” said Memu-Iye Kamara (DO ’20), chair of the class of 2020. “After receiving my white coat, I could not stop staring
at it. I got excited whenever…we were required to wear our white coat, because it
was the first time we ever looked like, and felt like, future physicians.”
Evan Gooberman, (DO ’19), MPH, chair of the class of 2019, said that with the many
obligations of medical school, “it’s easy to lose sight of the end goal. That’s where
the white coat—a symbol of what lies ahead—comes into play. It reminds us that we
will take the knowledge and the skills we’ve learned, and put them into practice.”
The White Coat 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.
Each student received a white coat donated to PCOM by the Pennsylvania Osteopathic
Medical Association (POMA).
“Your white coat, along with your stethoscope, is a symbol as you make the transition
from medical student to osteopathic physician,” said George Vermeire, DO ’74, president
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.
For more information, contact: Daniel McCunney Associate Director, News and Media Relations Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: