RELEASE DATE: January 28, 2021
Receiving a white coat is an iconic rite of passage for a doctor-in-training. On Sunday, January 17, 2021, The University of Queensland (UQ) Ochsner Clinical School held its 11th annual White Coat Ceremony at Ochsner Center for Academic Excellence, with family members and friends of the students joining the celebration virtually.
During the ceremony, 94 doctors-in-training earlier had received their White Coats and Humanism in Medicine pins – a visual reminder displayed on the lapel of each White Coat to remind students to keep compassion and empathy at the center of clinical practice.
George Karam, MD, associate Paula Garvey Manship Chair of Medicine, LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans and assistant dean for Baton Rouge Medical Education, served as the keynote speaker. The ceremony concluded with a recitation of the Oath of Clinical students, which serves as the official start to the second phase of the UQ Ochsner Medical Degree program focused on clinical experiences.
“Receiving a White Coat is a physical reminder of the oath these students have taken to serve, to heal, to lead, to educate and to innovate for their patients – each and every day. It is a privilege for our exceptional faculty at UQ Ochsner Clinical School to play a role in shaping the next generation of physicians,” said Ronald Amedee, MD, Dean of Medical Education and University of Queensland, Head of Ochsner Clinical School.
The 94 medical students from UQ Ochsner Clinical School who received their White Coats graduated from respected institutions across the country including Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Emory University, University of California,, Georgetown University, Duke University, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University and New York University, as well as in-state institutions Tulane University and Louisiana State University.
The modern-day White Coat ceremony dates back to 1989 when Dr. Arnold P. Gold – a teacher and pediatric neurologist for more than 40 years at Columbia University – realized handing out White Coats and reciting the Hippocratic Oath after four years of medical school was too late. Gold believed students needed well-defined guidelines regarding the expectations and responsibilities appropriate for the medical profession prior to their first day of education and training. This belief inspired the creation of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for the advocacy and sponsorship of what has become known as the White Coat Ceremony.
Established in 2010, the UQ Ochsner Clinical School is a unique four-year training, academic and clinical experience, which takes place across two continents, providing students with a global perspective as they train to become doctors. Through this program, students gain exposure to global health concepts by experiencing both the Australian and American healthcare systems.
The first two years of medical school curriculum take place in Brisbane, Australia at UQ, which is recognized as one of the top universities in the world and ranked 42nd worldwide on the 2019 US News Best Global Universities list. The final two years of clinical study are completed with Ochsner Health – one of the largest independent academic medical centers in the United States – located in New Orleans, LA.
Approximately 860 medical students have received their white coats from UQ Ochsner Clinical School. Students have a 94% match rate through the National Residency Match Program, which equals that of U.S. medical schools.
“Training the next generation of physicians to care for our community is critically important, and one of the greatest responsibilities we have as the largest health system along the Gulf Coast,” said Leonardo Seoane, MD, chief academic officer, Ochsner Health. “COVID-19 has exposed a need for even more providers on the front line, adding to an already projected physician shortage in our country. We’re proud to partner with UQ on this innovative medical school with a focus on global education. These medical students will go on to serve here at home and beyond.”
For more information on the UQ Ochsner Clinical School, visit https://ochsner.uq.edu.au.