103 Future Doctors Receive First White Coats
On Saturday, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) held its annual White Coat Ceremony for the class of 2021.
The event was hosted by Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A, president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) and dean of the PLFSOM. Dr. Lange welcomed the school’s ninth class of students with a speech highlighting what the white coat symbolizes, not just for medical professionals but also for those they serve.
“This white coat won’t give you superhuman powers,” said Dr. Lange. “But it is the first step toward becoming competent and caring physicians. It’s our intention to give you everything you need to excel in delivering care, but also to be caring.”
The White Coat Ceremony is a traditional rite of passage for entering medical students and signifies their acceptance into the field of medicine. Started in 1993 by Arnold P. Gold and his foundation, the ceremony is designed to remind students of the humanism inherent to their chosen field. In addition to being robed for the first time, students recite an oath acknowledging their roles as primary caregivers. The 103 future physicians in the class of 2021 wrote and recited their own oath. Since its inception at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the white coat tradition has expanded to 97 percent of medical schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The milestone event was held at the Plaza Theatre in downtown El Paso, and was attended by faculty, staff, fellow medical students and members of the El Paso community.
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