KYCOM class of 2023 receives ‘white coat of compassion’

The University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) formally welcomed the Class of 2023 during a traditional White Coat Ceremony on September 14. 

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. 

“Being an osteopathic physician starts now,” said Dana Shaffer, D.O., FACOFP, dist., FAOGME, dean of KYCOM. “Class of 2023, you were selected to enter this profession because you demonstrated the abilities and character necessary to succeed.”

This year’s keynote address was delivered by KYCOM alumnus Anthony Yonts, D.O. Yonts currently serves as the division chair of internal medicine for KYCOM, specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics with Quantum Health Care in Hazard, Ky., and is affiliated with Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

Yonts’ message focused on the journey students embark upon as physicians. 

“You’ve been given the honor of trust,” said Yonts. “People will share with you, when the door is closed, things that they will tell no one else on this planet, and you cannot let that trust down.”