For third-year medical students at the UMKC School of Medicine, the White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage that marks a transition to the more intensive clinical phase of their medical school training. With that comes the responsibilities of humanism and professionalism.
“Each year, medical students throughout the United States accept these responsibilities as they receive their first white coats. Soon, you will be part of this distinctive group, and I encourage you to wear your coat with pride,” Jill Moormeier, Chair of the Department of Medicine, told this year’s class on at the 2017 White Coat Ceremony at White Recital Hall.
The ceremony unites students who spent the majority of their first two years studying on the Volker Campus with their new docent units at Hospital Hill and Saint Luke’s Hospital. It marks the start of their final four years of clinical training.
Sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the White Coat Ceremony emphasizes the importance of compassionate care for patients and proficiency in both the art and the science of medicine. It has been a tradition at the UMKC School of Medicine since 2003.
Sarthak Garg represented his classmates by reading the Class of 2021 Philosophy of Medicine, a compilation of the students’ thoughts about the profession of medicine.
Part of that philosophy reads, “Being a medical professional is a privilege. It is a special opportunity to help people with technical skills and express the love of humanity by constant studying and showing compassion. I can think of no better way to spend my life than that.”
The class also honored Amgad Masoud, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and both a Years 1 and 2 Docent and Years 3-through-6 Docent for the Gold 3 Unit. Masoud received the 2017 Outstanding Year 1 and 2 Docent Teaching Award. It was the third time Masoud has received the award as selected by first- and second-year students.
Then came the highlight of the event: students learning new docent team assignments and being cloaked in their new white coats.
“Today, the white coat signifies the formal relationship that exists between physicians and patients,” Moormeier said. “It also serves as a reminder of the obligation that we have to practice medicine with clinical competence and compassion.”