SOM White Coat Ceremony: Students Describe What it Means to Put on Their White Coat

First-term student Paige Persaud received the gift of a lifetime at the recent St. George’s University School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony: Not only did Ms. Persaud receive her white coat on her birthday, but she was coated by her aunt and mentor, SGU clinical instructor Dr. Deborah-Ann Stephens-John.

“This is a very special day for me because it’s also my birthday and I got my Aunt Deborah to coat me. She is the reason I wanted to get into medicine, so this is a very special moment,” said Ms. Persaud, who hails from St. George’s, Grenada.


It was an emotional moment for both Ms. Persaud and Dr. Stephens-John.

“I’m super proud of Paige,” Dr. Stephens-John said. “Today brings up all sorts of feelings because 21 years ago on this day, I helped deliver Paige into this world and now I’m putting on her white coat. Growing up as a child Paige always said she wanted to be a doctor just like her Aunty Deborah. I’m here to give her all the encouragement and to see her dream come true.”



On October 20, Ms. Persaud, along with her fellow students in the Class of 2027, walked across the stage at Patrick F. Adams Hall during the milestone event that marks their entry into the field of medicine. At the end of the ceremony, 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.



“It’s a very surreal feeling being coated. I’m very proud of everything that I’ve done, which I obviously didn’t do alone. It’s with the help of my family and my community and God—that’s the reason I’m here today.”

– Yousef Karabala

     Stockton, CA



“It was an honor to be coated by my stepmom, who’s a general surgeon from the Dominican Republic. It feels like all of my dreams are falling into place. I honestly can’t believe that I’m here right now. I still feel like the little girl that would dream of this very moment.”

– Keegan Savage

Plymouth, MA




“It feels like I’ve come full circle. I didn’t always want to be a doctor. Initially I went into business and that was lucrative, but it didn’t give me the fulfillment that I was looking for and the challenge that I needed. However, when I got the opportunity to attend SGU it felt like a sign pushing me in the right direction. And I know it was the right decision because I’ve accomplished so much to get here and now, I’m at the starting point of my journey and I’m excited to keep going.”

– Brook Yohannes




   – Ray-Donna Peters

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