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White Coat Ceremony Welcomes the Class of 2018
August 8, 2014
On August 8, Temple University School of Medicine welcomed the Class of 2018 to the profession of medicine with a White Coat Ceremony, an event held at the start of every school year to welcome each new class to the Temple family and the medical profession. Proud family members snapped photos and broke into rounds of applause as the students were cloaked, by members of the School’s faculty, in the crisp white coats they will wear throughout all four years of their education.
This year’s ceremony, held in the Temple Performing Arts Center--once the Baptist temple of Reverend Russell Conwell, Temple University’s founder--welcomed 232 new medical students, the largest class in the school’s history. It featured remarks by Larry Kaiser, MD, FACS, Dean of the School and President and CEO of the Temple University Health System, followed by a keynote address by the noted medical journalist and family physician Brian P. McDonough, MD, a 1985 alumnus of the School.
“You are entering one of the world’s great professions --a calling whose sole purpose is to serve others,” Kaiser said, promising the students that medicine will offer them a satisfaction unlike any other profession. He encouraged them to take full advantage, to be bold in their actions and innovative in their thinking. “You will shape the future. You must challenge the conventions,” he said.
In his keynote address, McDonough, a four-time Emmy Award winner and a member of the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame, reflected on the beginning of his own education at Temple University School of Medicine. He compared himself to a character in ‘Harry Potter’ who started out big and blustery, yet “grew” into his correct proportion along the way. McDonough started medical school thinking he was the smartest student in the class, until he met his classmates, who were just as bright.
“At the core of who I am as a physician is what I learned at Temple medical school,” McDonough said. It’s a place where you learn humanity and humility, not just medicine.
McDonough’s medical journalism career embraces the role of physician as teacher. He has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more than a quarter-century. He is also a member of the Temple medical school faculty and chairs the Department of Family Medicine at St. Francis Hospital (Wilmington, DE), where he also serves as Chief Medical Information Officer.
Following the addresses and the cloaking ceremony, students and faculty jointly recited the Oath of Geneva–the declaration affirming physicians’ dedication to the humanitarian goals of medicine. Next, the medical students received brand-new stethoscopes--all donated by alumni, faculty, friends and members of the School's Board of Visitors. The ceremony also featured the induction of 44 upper-year medical students into the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Society.
Fifteen percent of the students in the class are related to faculty and alumni of the school. Forty-six of the students are graduates of the school’s post-baccalaureate medical school program, a program that accepted 55 new students this year. In addition, 23 new students entered the school’s biomedical graduate program this year, the program that awards the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree.
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