Next class of physicians gathers at White Coat Ceremony

On Saturday, September 16, the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) Class of 2027 celebrated the beginning of their medical journey with a White Coat Ceremony at the Appalachian Wireless Arena. Approximately 145 white coats were distributed to the new class, composed of talented individuals with a passion for healing. 

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 of medicine. The ceremony encourages a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in medicine. Medical students are bound by the same professional commitments that bind all physicians.

“You must recognize this privilege and understand that you are no longer just a student and must embrace the mantle of professionalism bestowed upon you symbolically here today,” said Joe Kingery, D.O., MBA, FACOFP, FAAFP, dean of KYCOM. “As you develop the qualities that will make you outstanding osteopathic physicians, you will grow in knowledge and skills from the academic and clinical experiences you will encounter during your time as physicians in training.”

KYCOM alumna and President of the Alumni Association, Juanita Fraan Hughes, D.O., delivered this year’s keynote address. She focused her comments on the significance of the white coat as officially marking their start to a career and a lifetime of dedication to medicine.

“I would like to congratulate you for reaching this point in your career. Remember to proudly wear your coat and represent KYCOM to the best of your ability. Never forget, underneath your coat, there is a person,” said Hughes. “As a training doctor, you have proven yourself to be intelligent, resilient, trustworthy and dedicated. The amount of time you put toward your medical education is enormous, so be proud of what you have accomplished.”