White Coat Rite Recognizes New College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy Students

You are not alone.

That’s the message that Lisa Young, M.D., (’85), dean of the College of Medicine, wanted the medicine students in the Class of 2022 to remember from Monday’s White Coat ceremony.

White Coat is a rite of passage for the first-year students — a "major milestone event," as President Gershen put it in his opening remarks to the 145 students from the College of Medicine being "coated" that morning. And while there were many messages about professional responsibility throughout the ceremony in the Grand Ballroom, Dr. Gershen also wanted the students to remember the support they’ll be able to find over the next four years — not only from their family and friends who had gathered to cheer them on, but also from the faculty. “They truly care about you and they are here for you,” said Dr. Gershen.

Monday afternoon, the 92 first-year students in the College of Pharmacy Class of 2022 participated in their own coating ceremony, led by the College’s dean, Rick Kasmer, Pharm. D., J.D. Of the family and friends cheering on the first-year students at each White Coat event, no one showed more enthusiasm than the toddler son of pharmacy student Allison Deyarmon (also celebrating her birthday that day), who couldn’t wait to show his mom the drawing he had made for her during the ceremony.

John Boltri, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine, delivered the keynote address for the College of Medicine, while Antonio Ciaccia, director of government and public affairs for the Ohio Pharmacists Association, presented the keynote to the College of Pharmacy.


Support system in place

Students chose six of their peers from the College of Medicine Class of 2021 and four from the College of Pharmacy Class of 2021 for the honor of "coating" each member of the Class of 2022 as they processed onstage to the sound of their name being called by Sandra Emerick, Ed.D., chief student affairs officer. Coaters for the College of Medicine were Stephen Grossi, Saeed Khoncarly, Nathan Nahhas, Michelle Pfeffer, Andrew Whipkey and Eesha Zaheer. Coaters for the College of Pharmacy were Nuur Alkenany, Ashley Brooks, Kevin King and David Whipkey. 

One intertwined theme in Monday’s speeches was the presence of support and the importance of practicing compassion. Louis Barone, Pharm. D., who was presented with the Dean’s Leadership Award from the College of Pharmacy, urged the students to share their goals and ambitions with faculty members and preceptors. They are there to help, noted Dr. Barone.

Dr. Young advised the students to remember to provide compassionate care to themselves, as well as to their patients, as a protective step against physician burnout.

Likewise, John Boltri, M.D., who received the Dean’s Leadership Award from the College of Medicine, reminded students to nourish themselves and to "seek help when you need it."

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