On Saturday, August 2, Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) commemorated the beginning of the inaugural class’ medical career with the first-ever White Coat Ceremony. Students were donned the physician’s white coat – a widely recognized symbol of the medical profession. The ceremony was held in the main sanctuary of Thomas Road Baptist Church.
The White Coat Ceremony is one of the most anticipated milestones along a doctor’s path as it marks the beginning of a medical student’s transformation into the medical profession. LUCOM honored over 160 students with a special challenge of principles found in Micah 6:8, to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly. The challenge came from invited keynote speaker, Dr. David Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA):
“You have put a mantle on yourself today to say, ‘I am here to serve and to help and to sacrifice myself for your good and I do that because of the love of Jesus Christ that lives in me … and that flows out of me.’”
Created by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993, a White Coat Ceremony is celebrated at almost all medical schools within the United States, as well as, in 13 other countries. “The White Coat Ceremony marks a rite of passage from individualism to professionalism. This inaugural class will never see themselves the same again … they will be held to a higher standard. And while they will be extended a cloak of privilege and respect worn by generations of physicians that came before them, it is one that they themselves must continuously demonstrate that they deserve,” said Ronnie B. Martin, PharmD, D.O., FACOFP-dist., dean of LUCOM.
After the initial cloak, the founding staff presented each student with three lapel pins: one pin reflective of LUCOM; another from the Virginia Osteopathic Medical Association (VOMA), recognizing that they are now a member of the association; and also a pin from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, embossed with the words Humanism in Medicine and a heart shaped stethoscope logo. Near the conclusion of the ceremony, the students recited the Osteopathic Oath representing their public acknowledgment and commitment of their future responsibilities into their professions and their willingness to assume such obligation.
Read the official release from the Liberty University News Service.