BUIES CREEK, North Carolina – It was a beautiful fall day in Buies Creek as friends and family from across the country gathered to celebrate the White Coat Ceremony with the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2019.
One hundred and sixty-two students’ parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, and children attended the ceremony in Turner Auditorium on Campbell University’s main campus.
The White Coat Ceremony is a tradition shared by over 100 medical schools, and Campbell’s ceremony emphasized professionalism and compassionate patient care. As Dr. Charlotte Paolini, Chair of Family Medicine for the medical school, shared the history of the white coat with the students and their visitors, she reminded them that while the white coat is an honored symbol of the profession they posses other parts of their anatomy that are more important in the care of their patients – their brain and their heart.
The white coats were presented by the students’ academic advisors or a family member who is a physician. As is the CUSOM tradition, in addition to their white coats, the Class of 2019 received the Humanism in Medicine pin and a stethoscope. The Humanism in Medicine pins were provided by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to remind the medical students to pursue respectful and compassionate relationships with their patients.
The White Coat Address was delivered by Dr. J. Bradley Creed, President of Campbell University, and his words continued the theme regarding a profession of service.
“As you grow and develop as a medical professional, you understand that you are not treating diseases, but caring for persons,” said Dr. Creed. “Responding to the patient as a person with your professed knowledge is to build a bridge between science and art.”
In closing, Dr. Creed charged the Class of 2019 to serve their profession as they serve their patients. “You all are wearing white coats – no unique designs – you are a community of colleagues. Your existence as a professional is not possible apart from a community of colleagues and institutions…you are enjoying the fruits of something belonging to predecessors and successors…commit yourselves to the purposes of these institutions and organizations you serve and affirm their highest ideals.”
Following the ceremony, the students continued to celebrate with a reception at Campbell’s Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences.
“It’s really hard to put into words and describe, but today I felt an enormous amount of pride for myself and my classmates,” said Marlie Patel. “This ceremony is a welcome to the profession I have wanted to be part of my whole life. It feel like everything I have overcome and worked hard for to get to this moment was worth it. We are going to continue to work hard, and we will overcome difficulties. As Dr. Creed said, we get to achieve these goals together as professional colleagues and as a CUSOM family!”
“We are honored to have Dr. Creed bring the White Coat address today,” said Dean John Kauffman. “It was an exciting moment to lead the Class of 2019 in the Osteopathic Oath at the close of today’s ceremony – their class motto is ‘Transforming passion into practice’ and today they took one more step to becoming Campbell physicians – physicians who will provide healthcare to the rural and underserved communities in North Carolina and across the country.”