LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health New Orleans Students Formally Welcomed to Clinical Practice

October 20, 2023

LSU Health Medciine White Coat Ceremony

LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony

Recent White Coat Ceremonies celebrated a rite of passage for nearly 500 students at LSU Health New Orleans Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Allied Health Professions and Nursing. The medical school Class of 2027, the dental school’s Dental Laboratory Technology Class of 2024, Dental Hygiene Class of 2024, Internationally Educated Dentist Program Doctor of Dental Surgery Class of 2025, and Doctor of Dental Surgery Class of 2026, allied health’s Physical Therapy Class of 2026, and the nursing school’s Sophomore II Students Entering Clinical Nursing Courses were “coated” by faculty members they chose, signifying their transition to clinical practice.

The tradition began in 1993 when the Arnold P. Gold Foundation created the ceremony to mark medical students’ entrance into the medical profession. According to the Gold Foundation, “The White Coat Ceremony is an iconic ritual that emphasizes compassionate, collaborative, scientifically excellent care from the very first day of training in the healthcare professions. The Gold Foundation established this tradition in 1993 at Columbia University as a way to highlight the importance of humanism in all care of patients.”

It has since expanded to include other health professions disciplines.

One of the most significant parts of the ceremony is the oath the students recite in unison in front of their faculty, leadership, family members and each other. They solemnly pledge their commitment to caring for their patients with compassion, empathy, honesty and respect. They also promise to dedicate themselves to professional integrity, lifelong learning and humility.

The School of Medicine’s ceremony featured the addresses of Dr. Elyse Stevens, their nominee for the AAMC Humanism in Medicine Award, and Yasmeen Kawji, the Humanism in Medicine Essay Winner. Drs. Margaret Bishop-Baier, Arnold Zea, Dr. Yussef Bennani, Deidre Devier, Victoria Burke, Shubho Sarkar, Andrew Hollenbach, Hannah Bauer, Stefany Primeaux, Jason Middleton, Grace Athas, Paula Seal, John Amoss, Robin English, and Taniya de Silva coated the medical students.

Dr. Vincent DiLeo, Jr, President of the Louisiana Dental Association, delivered the Keynote Address at the School of Dentistry’s ceremony. Faculty coaters were Julio Zavala, Dental Laboratory Technology Program Director, David Vela, Dental Hygiene Program Director Jane Walsh, Tricia Barker, Kelly Bourgeois, Associate Dean Dr. John Gallo, and Drs. Margaret Nuttli, Jorge Palavicini and Adriana Wilson.

LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentsitry White Coat Ceremony
LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry White Coat Ceremony

Paul Hildreth, PT, DPT, MPH, Rehab Program Supervisor at University Medical Center, headlined the School of Allied Health Professions’ ceremony. Drs. Ngozi Akotaobi, Katherine Atiyeh, Luther Gill, Ha Hoang, Noelle Moreau, and Rachel Wellons coated the students.

LSU Health New Orleans PT White Coat Ceremony
LSU Health New Orleans Physical Therapy White Coat Cremony

The School of Nursing chose Allison Guste, MHA, BSN, RN, CPHQ, Corporate Vice President of Quality and Nursing, as their featured speaker. Cloakers were Drs. Benita Chatmon, Adele Harrell, Nicole Thomas, and Todd Tartavoulle.

LSU Health New Orleans Nursing White Coat Ceremony
LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing White Coat Ceremony

When the students graduate, they’ll exchange their short white coats for long white coats, indicative of the level of training of professional health care practitioners.

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