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Education & Career Dev.

Aug. 17 - Mercer University School of Medicine to Hold White Coat Ceremony in Savannah

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

August 17, 2018 - More than 60 first-year students in Mercer University’s School of Medicine will receive their white coats and be welcomed into the medical profession Saturday at 11 a.m. in Savannah.

The ceremony will take place in Mercer Auditorium on the first floor of the Mercer University Medical Education and Research Building at the William and Iffath Hoskins Center for Biomedical Research on the campus of Memorial University Medical Center.

“The white coat ceremony is a tradition that marks the beginning of a course of transformative education leading to the title of physician. It implies the acceptance of great responsibility, trust, compassion and a call to service,” said Jean R. Sumner, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. 

Daniel Gordon, M.D., a 2014 graduate of the School of Medicine and family physician in Hartwell, will be keynote speaker.

Dr. Gordon was one of the first two graduates of the medical school’s nationally renowned Accelerated Curriculum Track, which allows students interested in a career in family medicine or general internal medicine the opportunity to complete their coursework in a three-year program of study.

Dr. Sumner, a 1986 graduate of the School of Medicine, and Wayne Glasgow, Ph.D., senior associate dean for the Savannah campus and senior vice provost for research, will cloak the participants.

SunTrust provided support for the School of Medicine’s white coat ceremonies in Savannah and Macon.

“On behalf of the SunTrust Foundation, we are proud to continue the long history of supporting education in our local communities in ways that directly align to SunTrust’s purpose of ‘Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being,’” said David Camden, president and CEO of SunTrust Bank’s Savannah Region. “Our partnership with Mercer University’s School of Medicine continues that long tradition and helps this dedicated group of future healthcare professionals take a step toward financial confidence.”

The white coat ceremony was designed by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation as a way to welcome new medical students and set clear expectations regarding their primary role as physicians by professing an oath. 

Today, the ceremony emphasizes the importance of compassionate care as well as scientific proficiency. The first white coat ceremony took place in 1993 at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Since then, more than half of the nation’s medical schools have had some form of white coat ceremony.

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