DO Students Receive White Coats | PCOM South Georgia
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Students Receive White Coats and Words of Wisdom

October 25, 2022

PCOM South Georgia's DO class of 2026PCOM South Georgia's Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) Medicine program class of 2026 receive their white coats

“You may now don your white coats.”

Students and families rejoiced as those words were spoken at PCOM South Georgia’s fourth-annual white coat ceremony held at the Colquitt County Arts Center theater on Friday, October 21.

Described by one speaker as vibrant, energetic and bold, students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine class of 2026 were coated by faculty members on stage in front of their loved ones.

The ceremony of coating students is a long-standing tradition that symbolizes the transition from student to physician. Students in the DO class of 2026 will wear the white coats throughout their medical school education. The white garment will see pen stains from clerkship rotations, expanded pockets from tools and books and confidential conversations from patient encounters.

Kirby Smith, DO, director of the Georgia South Residency program, has seen all of those moments in his own career. While speaking to the students and welcoming them into the profession, he stressed the importance of being compassionate and supportive of future patients and colleagues and upholding the honor of the profession.

“Your patients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care,” he said, quoting his former mentor and residency program director, Dr. Bill Gifford. “We endorse you as one of us…we expect that you will put the interest of your patients—our patients—before your own.”

Destiny Sciuva (DO `25), class chair of the DO class of 2025, shared pride and encouragement with the first-year medical students. She said, “Know that what is being asked of you is a lot because what you signed up for is unique. I want you to remind yourselves at the end of every day, especially the most difficult ones, that everything you’re doing is worth it. The days are long, but the months are short, and before you know it, you’re able to be told a couple of words and know an entire diagnosis. Be mindful and intentional about living in the present every day.”

The DO class of 2026 has a unique makeup. With many students attending the FIRE program before the start of the academic year, a strong sense of camaraderie was built–one that has been noticed by students, faculty and staff alike. The students also come from different backgrounds, varying in age, experience, education and location. Despite their differences, hardships and journeys, they have persevered and marked the first step in their medical education and career—receiving their white coats.

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  • About PCOM South Georgia

    Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) extended its commitment to the Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia, an additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia. PCOM South Georgia offers both a full, four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit institution which trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields. Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state, PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the South Georgia region. The medical campus, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in August 2019, has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit or call 229-668-3110.

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    Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003

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