Click here for photos of the White Coat ceremonies.
On Saturday, January 26, LECOM Bradenton’s first year medical and pharmacy students received their white consultation coats in a traditional “White Coat Ceremony” held at the Harvest Centre in Lakewood Ranch.
The White Coat Ceremony is a tradition upheld by medical schools across the nation as an initiation for aspiring health care professionals into their commitment to the highest principles related to the practice of medicine and pharmacy. It not only marks their entrance into the clinical aspect of their training, but also into the profession with all of its responsibilities to humankind. The white coat is known as a symbol of trust between doctor and patient, of compassion, and of the purity of a medical professional’s purpose.
This was the first White Coat Ceremony for the LECOM Bradenton’s new School of Pharmacy’s inaugural Class of 2011 and the 4th annual ceremony for the College of Medicine. 83 pharmacy and 157 osteopathic medical students received their white coats.
Christine Gegeckas, R.Ph., BCOP, Pharmacy Oncology Clinical Specialist for Lee Memorial Hospital, in Ft. Myers, Florida was the keynote speaker for the pharmacy ceremony. Gegeckas is a pioneer and advocate for oncology and pain management services, and works diligently to obtain free medications for indigent oncology patients.
Louise Del Negro, D.O., family medicine physician in West Palm Beach, Florida and a 2003 graduate of LECOM, addressed the College of Medicine Class of 2011. Dr. Del Negro attended medical school and began to build her successful medical practice after dedicating her first career to the arts and raising her children.
John M. Ferretti, D.O, President and CEO for LECOM headed the list of faculty and staff attending both of the ceremonies. Also attending were Silvia M. Ferretti, D.O., Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Reverend Monsignor David A. Rubino, Ph.D., Vice Provost. Special guests at the College of Medicine ceremony included Anthony Ottaviani, D.O., President, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association and William Silverman, D.O., Adopt-A-Campus Representative for the American Osteopathic Association. Special guests at the School of Pharmacy ceremony included Nivia Santiago, R.Ph., Hugh Morrow, R.Ph., Matt McLaughlin, and Christine Muller, Pharm.D. representing Walgreen Co., Courtney Goodman and Katrina Zepf representing CVS/Caremark, Marjorie Showalter, Pharm.D., incoming president of the Sarasota Regional Society of Health System Pharmacists and Amy Giovino, Pharm.D., immediate past president of the Sarasota Regional Society of Health System Pharmacists.