More than a White Coat
The white coat represents many things: altruism, humility, accountability, excellence, duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for others. No mere garment, but a commitment to the highest standards in practice of medicine, generation, and dissemination of knowledge, to sustain the interests and welfare of the patient and to be responsive to the health needs of society. The Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine (CPM) tradition of the white coat ceremony to formally honor student doctors with their first white coat began in 2005, under the premise of defining professionalism in medical practice. Once received, the white coat should serve as a reminder of the professionalism required in education and beyond as a future podiatric physician.
Though students in the class of 2024 have worn their white coats for well over a year now, they were robbed of the traditional ceremony due to COVID-19 when they began their journey at CPM last year. Now, alongside the class of 2025 who received their coats for the very first time, each student doctor was honored in a proper cloaking ceremony to formally mark their commitment to professionalism and future patients.
CPM Dean Dr. Allan Boike began the momentous ceremony by addressing each class and the resilience and dedication that they exhibit in entering medicine during such a tumultuous time. “Both the class of 2024 and 2025 are a notable group of students, with some of the most diverse backgrounds and fascinating experiences that led them to pursue a career in medicine,” Dr. Boike noted, “I am honored to play a small role in their journey to becoming podiatric physicians. He continued by reminding the classes that while their responsibilities as a professional started on their first day of class, the faculty will continue to expect the high level of professionalism that the white coat represents, through the next few rigorous years of their academic career.
At the closing of the ceremony on September 24th, all 185 student doctors in attendance rose to recite the professionalism oath, as is customary for all incoming classes. Kent State University President, Dr. Todd Diacon, summarized the ceremony well, “You’ve got a white coat that you are now, already in your first or second year, a leader in our collective effort to take care of others. I’m proud of you, and I can’t wait to celebrate your graduation in a few years.” We’ll be cheering them on until then!