LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health New Orleans Medical Students Proudly Wear Their New White Coats

October 25, 2021

LSU Health White Coat Ceremony 2021

One hundred ninety-five members of the Class of 2024 and one hundred ninety-seven members of the Class of 2025 at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine marked a milestone recently during their White Coat Ceremonies. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the Class of 2024’s ceremony last year, so both classes celebrated this month. Being “coated” by faculty members the students specially chose is a rite of passage as they transition from the lecture hall to clinical care.

According to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, cloaking with the white coat—the mantle of the medical profession—is a hands-on experience that underscores the bonding process. The coat is placed on each student's shoulders by individuals who believe in the student’s ability to carry on the noble tradition of doctoring. It is a personally delivered gift of faith, confidence and compassion.

Their Dean, Dr. Steve Nelson, told the Class of 2024, “Today, you will receive your stethoscope. Several years ago, I was being interviewed by City Business. The reporter knew I was an intensive care physician, and so we spoke briefly about all of the technology that is in the Intensive Care Unit. She then asked me what my favorite was. I replied the stethoscope. She was puzzled and queried, ‘Why is that?’ I replied that is because of all of the technology and instrumentation employed in the care of these critically ill patients we can easily become detached from the patient we are caring for. But when I lay my hand and my stethoscope on the patient's chest and feel the chest move and hear the heart beat, I am reminded that there is someone's father, mother, brother, sister or loved one entrusted to my care.”

The students nominated Dr. Robert Maupin, Associate Dean for Diversity & Community Engagement and Head of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division, for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Humanism in Medicine Award. He addressed the students, followed by the winner of the Humanism in Medicine Essay Contest, Aniko Nowakowski, Class of 2024.

Follow Us Subscribe RSS Feed

Media Contact

Leslie Capo

Office: 504-568-4806

Cell: 504-452-9166

The faculty doing the honors were Dr. Angela McLean, Associate Dean for Admissions; Dr. Andrew Hollenbach, Co-Director Basic Science Curriculum; Dr. Taniya DeSilva, Co-Director, Clinical Science Curriculum; Dr. Fern Tsien, Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research; Dr. Hamilton Farris, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Records; Dr. Catherine Hebert, Co-Director, Clinical Science Curriculum; Dr. Robert Maupin, Associate Dean of Diversity & Engagement; Dr. Joy Sturtevant, Co-Director Basic Science Curriculum; Dr. Robin English, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education; and Dr. Cathy Lazarus, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Records.
Drs. Angela McLean and Robert Maupin with students
The ceremonies concluded with Chloe d’Aquin, LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine Gold Humanism Honor Society President, Class of 2022, leading the classes as they recited their Oaths of Ideals. In unison, they pledged to, “. . . to be an advocate for my patients, and I promise to do my part to ensure that all members of my community have equal access to sustainable, quality health care; to remain self-aware and humble enough to realize my own limitations; to never forget that the practice of medicine is an earned privilege and that the well-being of the patient should always come first. . .”

These budding young physicians will carry Dr. Nelson’s words with them, “What will make the greatest difference in your success as a physician is what comes from your heart, calling on those qualities instilled in you early in life from your family and others around you. The practice of medicine is an art - a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head. Your patients will share with you their inner selves - their hopes and desires, their fears and vulnerabilities -secrets that they will not share with anyone else. Spend time with them. Comfort them. Touch them. Connect with them. Listen carefully and observe. You will learn much from them. I welcome you into the medical profession, and I wish you well as you begin what will be a lifelong commitment to patient care and professionalism. The white coat is the robe of our profession. Wear it proudly.”

LSU Health White Coat Ceremony