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FAU Bestows White Coats Upon Future Docs

BOCA RATON, FL ( — The first future doctors from Florida Atlantic University have added to their wardrobes, and it’s a lovely shade of white. Congratulations, and read on for the details:

The 64 students who make up the incoming class of 2016 of Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine received their first doctor’s white coats at a ceremony recently to symbolically confirm their commitment to the profession of medicine.  During the ceremony, faculty from the College cloaked the students with a white coat—the pre-eminent symbol of physicians for more than 100 years. The ceremony, which is a time honored tradition, took place in the Barry and Florence Friedberg Lifelong Learning Center on the Boca Raton campus. Members of the inaugural class of the medical school were paired with students in the incoming class and will serve as mentors to the newly minted medical students. Each student was pinned with the “Humanism in Medicine” lapel pin by his/her mentor during the ceremony. At the conclusion of the event, the students recited in unison an “oath” they collectively wrote, which will serve as a code of conduct they are committed to following throughout their education and as physicians after medical school.
“The doctor’s white coat is a vivid symbol of the medical profession,” said David J. Bjorkman, M.D., M.S.P.H., dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. “As our new students put on their white coats for the first time, they are putting on the mantle of being a physician.”
The event program included remarks from FAU President Mary Jane Saunders and the keynote address was presented by Bjorkman and was titled “Honor, Healing and Hope: The Hippocratic Oath.” The master of ceremonies for the event was Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D., senior associate dean of FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine.
The Schmidt College of Medicine’s incoming class comes from all walks of life with unique backgrounds that include a national level figure skater, gymnasts, martial artists, a ballerina, a kick boxer, research scientists, musicians,  a competitive tennis player and a vascular sonographer—and they all share the drive and passion to become physicians and help patients. Ranging in age from 21 to 49, the medical students represent most of the major colleges and public universities in Florida and make up 60 percent of the incoming class.  Other students in the class attended undergraduate institutions around the country, including Columbia, Boston University, Duke, George Washington, UCLA, William & Mary, University of California-Santa Barbara, Brigham Young University, California State University-Los Angeles,          St. Josephs, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Michigan, University of Alabama, University of Wisconsin, The Ohio State University and Notre Dame.
Fifty-eight percent of the class is women—higher than the national average of 49 percent. Approximately 13 percent of the class is Hispanic, 11 percent are Asian and 3 percent are African-American. Although 75 percent of the class majored in traditional pre-med subjects, the class is also made up of students who have non-science majors such as Asian studies, philosophy, history and economics. Twelve of the class members have advanced degrees, including one student who is a post-doctoral fellow and holds an M.S. degree and a Ph.D. in pathobiology.
A symbolic event introduced in 1993, the White Coat Ceremony was established after a group of
distinguished physicians, medical educators and community leaders formed the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The Foundation concluded that the beginning of a student’s journey into medicine is the best time to influence standards of professionalism, humanistic values and behavior. More than 100 medical schools in the United States now hold White Coat Ceremonies.
Immediately following the ceremony was a reception in the Live Oak Pavilion, which was underwritten by Dr. Michael T.B. Dennis, M.D., chair of the board of FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. The “Humanism in Medicine” lapel pins were provided by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation.




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