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Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

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Carole Trottere
School of Medicine
Phone: (516) 463-7585
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Date: Oct 07, 2013

Eighty New Students Receive Traditional White Coats at Honored Ceremony

Latest class brings total number of students at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine to 180

Eighty new students from the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine received their white coats at a special ceremony recently held in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse at Hofstra University. The White Coat Ceremony marks the beginning of a medical student’s transformation from a person to a professional.

The new class consists of 37 women and 43 men, ranging in age from 21 to 36 years old. They join 40 third-year students and 60 second-year students.

The students were given their White Coats by the school’s student advisors, or Society Masters. Society Masters are senior clinical faculty members who serve as longitudinal academic advisors and professional development mentors for the medical students.

“Wearing the physician’s white coat for the first time is a milestone in every medical student’s career,” said Dean Lawrence Smith, MD. “It comes with a tremendous responsibility to not only care for patients with the utmost skill and ability, but with understanding and empathy, as well.”

The tradition of the white coat ceremony began in 1993 at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Dr. Gold, a teacher and pediatric neurologist for more than 40 years at Columbia, noted at the 1991 commencement ceremony that students were reciting the Hippocratic Oath “four years too late.” Dr. Gold believed that it was much more apropos for students to receive their white coats and take the Oath when they begin their medical training, since it is during medical school that students make their first contact with patients.