University of South Alabama

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June 21, 2011 - USA College of Medicine to Host White Coat Ceremony
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine will hold its annual White Coat Ceremony at the Saenger Theatre on June 25, 2011, at 11 a.m. During the ceremony, rising third-year medical students will be cloaked with their first white coats, the traditional dress of physicians for more than 100 years.

Dr. Lynn Dyess, professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine, will be the keynote speaker.

“The white coat is a vivid symbol of the medical profession for medical students and physicians alike. It also serves as a constant reminder of the privilege we have to care for patients,” said Dr. Dyess. “For physicians in training, the ceremony provides a moment to reflect upon the life-long dedication to provide the best of care for their patients, and to uphold their commitment to provide this care with compassion and humility.”

In the United States, medical schools typically organize their four-year curriculum into two distinct parts - the preclinical and the clinical years. This tradition holds true at USA, where students spend the first two years in a classroom setting learning the fundamentals of basic science and pathology, followed by two years of hands-on training in the clinical environment under the supervision and mentoring of faculty and resident physicians.

The ceremony marks a significant milestone for these students - the point where they will begin their clinical rotations and start interacting with patients. Their third year begins on Monday, June 27.

For students, the White Coat ceremony serves as a reminder of the importance and responsibility they take by dedicating themselves to the care of patients. During the ceremony, the students in unison will take the Medical Student Oath, a promise to uphold the human aspects of medicine, such as sensitivity, compassion and respect for patients.

Each year, the USA Medical Alumni Association sponsors this event.

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