KYCOM’s Class of 2025 receives ‘white coat of compassion’

The University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) formally welcomed the Class of 2025 during a traditional White Coat Ceremony on Saturday, September 11, at the Appalachian Wireless Arena. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, seating was limited and the event was live-streamed on UPIKE’s official Facebook page for friends and family to join in celebrating this milestone for these future physicians.

White coat ceremonies are rites of passage for beginning medical students, welcoming them to the profession and reinforcing the value of humanism as a foundation to medicine. The ceremony encourages a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in the practice of medicine. Medical students are bound by the same professional commitments that bind all physicians.

“Class of 2025, you were selected to enter this profession, our osteopathic profession, because you have demonstrated the abilities and the character necessary to succeed,” said Joe Kingery, D.O., MBA, FACOFP, FAAFP, dean of KYCOM. “Today, I congratulate you on your achievements thus far, and I look forward to all those accomplishments which you will achieve in the years ahead.”

This year’s keynote address was delivered by Boyd R. Buser, D.O., FACOFP dist., former vice president for health affairs and dean of KYCOM (2007-2018), and former president of the American Osteopathic Association (2016-2017). Buser’s message focused on the future of healthcare and the challenges facing physicians today. He praised KYCOM for its continued mission of graduating competent osteopathic physicians to provide quality, community-based care.

“You have committed yourselves to make the world a healthier place for others,” said Buser. “And never forget, a degree in osteopathic medicine is much more than the accumulation of years of hard work or a fancy piece of parchment; it’s a covenant, a pledge to respond deeply to not only the medical needs of your patients, but to their entirety as human beings.”