It was an emotional day for the newest class of medical students at St. George’s University. Nervousness mixed with excitement filled the air as students took to the stage at the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony, held on January 28 at Patrick F. Adams Hall.
During the ceremony, which signifies students officially beginning their journey to becoming physicians, a white coat is placed on their shoulders—often by family members or mentors who have become doctors before them. Later, they would each recite the Oath of Professionalism, in which they pledged to honor the sacred trust and privilege society places on medical professionals.
What was it like to be coated? Check out the photos from the White Coat Ceremony.
It was all smiles, as students eagerly awaited their name being called for their turn to walk across the stage and put on that white coat.
But first, a few warm words from SGU Chancellor Dr. Charles R. Modica. The chancellor shared his appreciation for how far the University had come and his excitement as SGU approaches its 50th anniversary.
Dr. Modica was followed by this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. G. Richard Olds, president emeritus of SGU and a tropical disease specialist. In his address he shared three touching stories providing lessons on what it means to be a good physician.
Dr. Olds also had the pleasure of coating his son, Trevor Olds in this heartfelt moment—an experience the Olds family will treasure.
Trevor Olds and his father, Dr. G. Richard Olds
Also sharing a moment on stage was SOM Term 1 student, Carlie Hanlon who had the privilege of being coated by her grandfather, Dr. Robert Hanlon—a retired physician who practiced internal medicine and cardiology. The New Jersey native praised his granddaughter, confident that she will make a wonderful physician.
Carlie Hanlon and her grandfather, Dr. Robert Hanlon
Holding back tears was Dr. Patrick Borgen, as he coated his daughter Dana Borgen and her fiancé Ezekiel Sanchez. The high school sweethearts chose to attend SGU together after meeting several SGU alumni residents at Maimonides Medical Center where Dr. Borgen serves as chair of the Department of Surgery.
Already part of the SGU family, Frances Emmanuel, a Grenadian staff member in the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Medicine and Surgery (SAMS) Department, couldn’t be any prouder of her daughter Shanique Emmanuel, BSc ’22, who is on track to becoming the first doctor in their family.
Also, now a part of the SGU family is SOM Term 1 student Rashiqa Abdel-Jabbar. She left her Louisiana home to join her cousin, SOM Term 2 student Haneen Awawda in fulfilling her dream of becoming a doctor here at SGU.
Twins Mark and Michael Yassa are as different as night and day, except in their pursuit of becoming physicians. Although older by one minute, it was Mark who followed his brother Mike, a Term 2 SOM student from Toronto to SGU.
After receiving their white coats, the ceremony ended with students and other physicians in the audience reciting the Oath of Professionalism—pledging to uphold the highest of ethical standards while treating their patients.
– Ray-Donna Peters