Medical Students Receive First Doctor’s White Coat

White Coat Ceremony, Medical Students, Schmidt College of Medicine, FAU Medicine, Incoming Class of 2022

By gisele galoustian | 8/10/2018

Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine celebrated its eighth White Coat Ceremony to officially welcome its newest medical students during this symbolic event, which took place in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium on the Boca Raton campus.  

“I am honored to join our community in welcoming the members of the class of 2022 into the profession of medicine as they begin their journeys to becoming highly humanistic physicians,” said Phillip M. Boiselle, M.D., dean of FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. “The white coat is a symbol of your professional and ethical obligations to uphold the sacred trust of providing humanistic health care.”

Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D., senior associate dean for student affairs and admissions in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine, served as the master of ceremonies. FAU President John Kelly, and Michael T.B. Dennis, M.D., FAU Medicine’s advisory board chair and a member of the FAU Board of Trustees, provided remarks prior to the white coat cloaking.

“Class of 2022, you are beginning your journey to follow in the footsteps of many selfless physicians and others who have served humanity in countless ways,” said Markowitz. “Today, and for the rest of your careers, remember that your white coat, which symbolizes our profession, is a reflection of who you are and how you conduct yourself.”

The event program included a keynote address delivered by the college’s named benefactor Barbara Schmidt, who is passionate about mentoring the next generation of leaders and is the author of the internationally bestselling book, The Practice: Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness.She founded the non-profit Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life with the mission to further inner peace and bring mindfulness teachings to the global community. Today, Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life has more than six million followers on social media. 

Following the keynote address, students were cloaked with their white coats by Markowitz and Jennifer W. Caceres, M.D., assistant dean for student affairs and an associate professor of Integrated Medical Science in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. Each student was pinned with a “Humanism in Medicine” lapel pin by a member of the class of 2021. At the conclusion of the event, the students recited in unison an “oath” they collectively wrote, which will serve as a code of conduct they are committed to following throughout their education and as physicians after medical school. 

The members of the class of 2022 were selected among 3,411 applicants and range in age from 20 to 29. Twenty-three percent of the class are from groups underrepresented in medicine and will continue to contribute to the college's mission to enhance diversity in the physician workforce. Fourteen members of the class received their bachelor’s degree from FAU. Although most of the class members majored in traditional pre-med subjects, the class also is made up of students who have non-science majors. Approximately 85 percent of the incoming class are Florida residents.   

Most of the major colleges in Florida are represented including students from FAU, the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, Florida A&M University and Florida Gulf Coast University. Other students in the class attended undergraduate institutions such Vanderbilt University, New York University, the University of California, the University of Notre Dame, George Washington University and the University of Michigan, among others.

Each student’s white coat was sponsored by members of the community as well as local businesses through a special fundraising event – White Coats-4-Care – co-chaired by Bonnie and Jon Kaye, Kaye Communications, Inc. The event also raises funds to provide vital student scholarships.

Following the White Coat Ceremony, students and guests enjoyed a special reception generously underwritten by Dennis.  

The White Coat Ceremony was founded in 1993 by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The Foundation concluded that the beginning of a student’s journey into medicine is the best time to influence standards of professionalism, humanistic values and behavior.

As a community-based medical school, the Schmidt College of Medicine’s mission is to advance the health and well-being of the community by training future generations of humanistic clinicians and scientists. The college’s core values are Collaboration, Innovation, Respect, Compassion, Lifelong learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).