LECOM at Seton Hill holds White Coat Ceremony

One hundred first-year medical students from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill received their white coats during a ceremony on Saturday, October 1, at the Palace Theater. The ceremony is an important rite of passage for medical students. As they approach the completion of their first semester of medical school, the students are moving from pre-clinical education to more clinical, hands-on training.

First year medical students Sarah Giguere, Elizabeth Gordon, Stephan Goupil receive their first white coats. Click here to see more White Coat Ceremony photos.


White coat ceremonies have been around for less than twenty years, but have now become a tradition at medical schools. Physicians have been wearing white coats for more than one hundred years. The white coat is a symbol of integrity and professionalism.

The students learned what the white coat stands for from LECOM Class of 2000 graduate Danielle Stanko Godinez, D.O., who received her white coat in her first year of medical school. Dr. Godinez graduated before the college expanded to include campuses in Bradenton, Florida and Greensburg.

Dr. Danielle Godinez speaks to the LECOM at Seton Hill Class of 2015


Dr. Godinez became a bee-keeper when she learned that the honey bees are declining. “Simply put, communication is key within the hive,” she said. “We can all learn from those honeybees just how important it is for each of us to communicate.”

She asked that each student remember that communicating with each other is paramount for our survival as a medical community, our own “medical hive”.

“Not only do our patients depend on how effectively we communicate for their own survival,” she explained, “but our profession as a whole will not only survive but thrive if we learn and practice good communication with each other.”

In reciting the Osteopathic Pledge of Commitment, members of the Class of 2014 promised to uphold the high standards of the osteopathic medical profession and administer compassionate, quality care to their patients. It was certainly a day of extreme pride for the accomplishments they have achieved up to this point. The students are looking forward to what lies ahead.

Frank Tursi, D.O., 100th President of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA), also spoke at the white coat ceremony. Dr. Tursi is a LECOM clinical faculty member and Director of Medical Education at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie.

POMA donated the white coats and stethoscopes distributed today. Dr. Turse said POMA will be a valuable resource to them throughout their osteopathic medical careers

Others in attendance included LECOM Preisent John M. Ferretti, D.O., LECOM Provost Silvia M. Ferretti, and Irv Freeman, Ph.D., J.D., Vice President for LECOM at Seton Hill.

Click here to see more White Coat Ceremony photos.


The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine, school of dental medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

October 2, 2011
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