Grateful, Inspired, Motivated: Term 1 SOM Students Describe What It Means to Put on a White Coat

Dominique Assing, BS ’23, was no stranger to the lecture halls at St. George’s University. As a child her mother, Brigitte Assing, MBA ’12, would bring Dominque to SGU’s True Blue campus while she completed her graduate studies. Later, Ms. Assing would go on to complete her undergraduate degree at SGU before beginning her medical education in the School of Medicine.

At the recent SOM White Coat Ceremony, Ms. Assing was coated by her aunt Lisa Radix, MD ’95, who inspired her to follow her dreams of becoming a physician at SGU.

“I felt a mixture of emotions at the White Coat Ceremony—excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and most of all gratitude,” said Ms. Assing. “I’m grateful to my family and to my aunt who came to coat me. After having such a positive undergraduate experience here at SGU, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would want to study medicine. I really love being able to live in my home country, while also getting a truly international medical education.”


The occasion was monumental not only for Ms. Assing, but for her aunt as well.

“It was such a special feeling putting the white coat on the next generation,” said Dr. Radix. “Seeing Dominique grow from a toddler to a hard-working adult about to start her own medical career at SGU as I once did more than 30 years ago. In a way this was also my White Coat Ceremony, since I never had one because the tradition started the year after I graduated. Reciting the oath with my niece and her fellow students was doubly moving for me.”

On February 10, the Class of 2028 walked across the stage at Patrick F. Adams Hall during the milestone event that marks their entry into the field of medicine. After being coated—sometimes by family members or mentors who had become physicians before them, the students then recite the Oath of Professionalism—pledging to uphold the highest of ethical standards while treating their patients.



Hear from three other aspiring physicians on what it means to be able to wear a white coat.  


“I feel amazing after putting on my white coat. I’m excited and nervous at the same time but I also feel ready to take on this journey. It was such an honor being coated by my dad. He is the reason why I wanted to become a doctor. I was inspired by the work that he does and I’m happy to follow in his footsteps.”

– Abhigna Kandimalla 
Trinidad and Tobago


“I am super excited to have my white coat. It signifies that I’m clearly moving forward with my medical education. Previously, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for about 30 years, but I always wanted to become a doctor. I applied to SGU because it had a great matriculation rate and great success rate of students getting into the residencies of their choice. So, I knew it was the best place for me to fulfill my dream of becoming a physician.”

– Tanette Brown
North Carolina


“I can’t even describe the emotion I felt while being coated by my father, SGU Associate Dean Dr. Dolland Noel. It was like he was passing the torch on to me. Initially I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. But then my father really started to stand out to me. The way his work positively affected the people around him and all the gratitude surrounding him made me realize you can have a huge impact on your community and country as a physician. And just seeing the amazing doctor he became and knowing that he went to SGU definitely made me want to come here too.”

– Donan Noel



   – Ray-Donna Peters

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