AUC Welcomes May 2024 Class during White Coat Ceremony
More than 100 students celebrated the official start to their medical careers at AUC’s Virtual White Coat Ceremony on Friday, June 5, broadcast on Facebook, YouTube, and Zoom. First-semester students participated in the tradition from home and donned their short white coats as a symbol of bestowed trust to carry on the tradition of doctoring.
“This ceremony is not only a rite of passage but a ceremony that signifies the next step in the most honorable lifestyle a person can choose to live – a humble servant to those in need,” said Emory Newkirk, President of the Student Government Association.
University leaders and faculty echoed the importance of servant leadership, compassion, and social accountability in their remarks to physicians-in-training.
“At AUC we believe the makings of a great physician are not reflected by a test score but rather the motivations that drive an individual’s passion to help others,” said Dr. Pedro Delgado, Senior Associate Dean, Sint Maarten Campus. “We also believe that in order to provide healthcare to our most vulnerable and disenfranchised, we need a diverse set of physicians.”
In addition to celebrating the new class of physicians-in-training and the potential they bring to AUC, university leaders focused on the transformative aspect of undertaking a medical degree program.
“You will not be the person you are now when you graduate in four years’ time,” said Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs – UK Track. “Over the MD course, you’ll change your image of yourself, the patients you observe and treat, and the communities in which you study.”
Dr. Julie Taylor, Chief Academic Officer and Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, emphasized the significance of devoting one’s career to serving others through medicine, while advising students to take time for themselves along the way.
“People with white coats are also patients,” said Dr. Taylor. “I encourage you to strive for balance and wellbeing now, from the start. Please consider a mandatory part of your professional development to take care of yourself.”
After each student received individual recognition, Dr. Taylor led the class in reciting the Modern Oath of Physicians, which is a pledge to uphold the values and tenets of medicine and respect the responsibility of the profession.
“The white coat that I wear on my shoulders symbolizes compassion, love, survival, and strength,” said Roshini Jayasankar, a first-semester student. “I am so thankful for this special coat and fortunate to be embarking on this journey.”
Dr. Douglas Sborov, a 2009 AUC graduate, delivered the keynote address. He reflected on his experiences at AUC, which paved the way for his current position as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies at the University of Utah School of Medicine's Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Director of the university's Multiple Myeloma Program. He also left students with four pieces of advice: Be determined, be humble, live the journey, and find balance.
“To you, the white coat is a symbol of your journey through medicine, but to your patients, it means something far greater,” said Dr. Sborov. “The white coat means trust, it means competence, and hope for healing and feeling better.”