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'White coat of compassion'

September 16, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
The University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) formally welcomed the Class of 2021 during a traditional White Coat Ceremony Sept. 16.

White coat ceremonies are rites of passage for beginning medical students. The ritual encourages a psychological contract that emphasizes professionalism and empathy in the practice of medicine and focuses on the importance of both scientific excellence and compassionate care for the patient.

“Class of 2021, you were selected to enter this profession because you’ve demonstrated the abilities and character necessary to succeed,” said Boyd R. Buser, D.O., FACOFP, dist., vice president for health affairs, dean of KYCOM and immediate past president of the American Osteopathic Association. “You must accept and embrace the mantle of professionalism bestowed upon you symbolically here today.”

The keynote address was delivered by William G. Anderson, I, D.O., FACOS, past president of the American Osteopathic Association, senior advisor to the dean at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and vice president of academic affairs for osteopathic medical education at Detroit Medical Center.

Anderson’s message focused on exemplifying humility in the osteopathic profession.

“People in the community where you’re going to practice will trust you because you’re wearing that white coat that symbolizes you’re a doctor,” said Anderson. “Don’t forget where you came from, how you got here. Be respectful of others for who they are and what they are, and learn how to love them as your brothers and your sisters.”

Caption: First-year medical student Austin Thacker, of Shelbiana, is "coated" by second-year medical students Whitley McIntosh and Mark Dean.

To view photos from the ceremony, click HERE and to view a video, click HERE.

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