PCOM's DO class of 2023 recently received their white coats.
Nearly 270 students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) class of 2023 recently completed a major milestone in their medical education 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.
During the ceremony, Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO, addressed the students by emphasizing the role of patient care—a central tenet of the osteopathic philosophy.
“What today represents is a transition from classroom to clinician,” he said. “Today’s the day when it truly becomes about the patient. If you put the patient first, everything else will take care of itself.”
The presidents of the classes of 2022, 2021 and 2020 shared their perspectives on the white coat with the younger class. Chi Chi Do Nguyen (DO ’21), president of the class of 2021, noted that prior to starting her clerkships, her white coat had marked her personal and professional growth throughout medical school. “But now for the first time, it’s about what the white coat means to my patients,” she said.
Alumna Danielle Lucchesi DO ‘15, chief surgery resident at PCOM, also stressed the importance of patient care. “Never forget your patients will be some of your best teachers.”
Each member cloaked their classmate in a white coat donated by the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA), and then recited their class oath. Joan Grzybowski, DO '87, assistant professor, family medicine and former POMA president, congratulated the students.
“The white coat you receive is a physical signal of the educational process,” she said. “You will now be looked at by those outside of the medical community and within. Your coat will be a coat of many colors, but it will become brighter because of it.”
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 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 offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. Our 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 in inner city and rural locations. For more information, visit pcom.edu.
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