New Students Officially Welcomed as Physicians-in-Training during AUC’s White Coat Ceremony
More than 150 students celebrated the official start to their medical careers at AUC’s Virtual White Coat Ceremony on Friday. First-semester students accepted into AUC’s Sint Maarten and UK Track programs participated in the tradition virtually, and donned their short white coats as a symbol of bestowed trust to carry on the tradition of doctoring.
“The start of your medical career is a good day for global health and a major milestone in realizing your goal to become a physician,” said Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, UK Track, in his welcoming remarks.
University leaders and faculty emphasized the importance of servant leadership, compassion, and humanism 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.”
AUC’s May 2021 entering class represents four generations—Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Generation Z. More than half (54%) are women—in line with U.S. trends that women now comprise the majority of medical students—and hail from seven different countries, 36 U.S. states and territories, and three Canadian provinces. While many are joining medical school with degrees in biology and the biological sciences, several students are entering with backgrounds in nursing, psychology, public health, history, and anthropology.
After each student received individual recognition, Dr. Julie Taylor, Chief Academic Officer and Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, 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.
Dr. Nicole Deptula, a 2009 AUC graduate, delivered the keynote address. She reflected on her experiences at AUC, which paved the way for her career as an attending neonatologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, a Level IV 130-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). There, she is responsible for the care of the most critically ill infants, and she serves as a teacher and supervisor for many medical students, residents and fellows.
“Whether you are in the ER, the NICU, research, or teaching, choose the path where you will make the most impact,” said Dr. Deptula. “Keep asking yourself: What can I do? Where is the need? And, how can I help?”