How many people does it take to put on a white coat?
Three. That’s how many executive associate deans are tapped to do the honors at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine’s annual white coat ceremony – where first-year medical students receive their first white coats and stethoscopes, the premier symbols of their profession.
This year’s ceremony was held Aug.5 at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center for the Class of 2020, the college’s largest to date—126 students. That’s a lot of “coating”, and even with years of practice, there were some hairy moments, literally, when long hair got in the way, or a sleeve refused to cooperate, but inevitably, year after year, coating after coating, there seems to be that defining moment when both arms outstretched
the student looks like he or she is about to soar…
and the coat finally falls into place.
The ceremony also includes the students’ reading of the Physician’s Oath, a modern version of the Oath of Hippocrates, by which they “solemnly swear… that I will be loyal to the profession of medicine and just and generous to all.” They will repeat this oath at their convocation ceremony four years from now.
This year, incoming students were treated to advice and words of wisdom from the college’s namesake, philanthropist and Founding Chairman Dr. Herbert Wertheim; keynote speaker and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience Dr. Sergio Gonzalez-Arias; and Founding Dean Dr. John A. Rock.
“For the next four years, this class will undergo a transformation – not only in how they think and process information, but in how they envision the future,” said Rock. “And, for this particular class sitting here before us, having good vision seems practically inevitable because throughout their medical education experience they will be known as the Class of 20/20.”
Here’s a closer look at the new class.