University News

Med School doles out white coats

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, October 16, 2011

The white coat, an international symbol of the medical professional, is not an accessory to be worn lightly at Alpert Medical School. The Med School welcomed the 109 members of the class of 2015, giving each student their first white coat Saturday afternoon. The students will wear the coat, a slightly shorter version of a doctor’s coat, for the next four years.

“There is no honor like the honor of wearing this white coat,” said Nilay Patel ’08 MD’12, the student representative at the Ceremony of Commitment to Medicine.

Speakers at the ceremony included Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences Edward Wing and Fred Schiffman, professor of medicine.

The coat is “a symbol of authority, garnering respect,” Schiffman said. He told students to wear the coat to remind themselves of their first priority as a doctor — loyalty to the patient.

Patel said the coat helped him gain confidence as a doctor. “People will mistake you for a doctor sooner than you’re ready to be one,” he said, “and that’s not a bad thing.”

“When people accidentally put their faith in you, you may accidentally rise to the challenge,” Patel said.

The class of 2015 will be the first to enjoy the Med School’s newly finished headquarters at 222 Richmond St. for the entirety of their medical educations.

“The building’s terrific,” Wing told The Herald after the ceremony. It primarily houses classrooms for first- and second-year students and also includes spaces for studying and events.

“It is beautiful,” said Amber Clark MD ’15. Clark said one of her favorite features of the building is the anatomy suites, specially designed to integrate iPads into the dissection process. “Everything is at our disposal,” she said.

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