LECOM White Coat Ceremony Welcomes Students to Clinical Education

Medical and pharmacy students from the Class of 2016 marked the transition from classroom study to clinical education on Jan. 26 as the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine's Bradenton (FL) campus held its annual white coat ceremonies at the Harvest Center in Lakewood Ranch.

LECOM President and CEO John M. Ferretti, D.O.; Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Silvia M. Ferretti, D.O.; Associate Dean for LECOM Bradenton Robert George, D.O. and Dean for the LECOM School of Pharmacy Hershey S. Bell, M.D., M.S., welcomed 196 medical and 130 pharmacy students into the health care professions.

Jennifer Mejia, Pharm.D., LECOM Class of 2011, addresses the Class of 2016.

The white coat ceremony is a LECOM tradition inspiring these future health care professionals to commit to the highest principles related to the practice of osteopathic medicine. Their education takes them on a new pathway where they will interact with physicians and pharmacists in clinics, hospitals and pharmacies throughout the country. This is a time when students begin their pursuit of providing quality healthcare for the lifetime of their patients.

Special guest speaker was LECOM Bradenton alumna’s Sasha Noe, D.O. (’09) and Jennifer Mejia, Pharm.D. (’11). Dr. Noe is a family practice physician at Apollo Beach Family Medical Center. Dr. Mejia is a clinical pharmacist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. Both reflected fondly on their time at LECOM and gave practical advice to the newly-coated class.

“I encourage you all to study like you have never studied before.  The goal is not to pass the test, but to understand what this fine faculty is trying to teach you,” said Dr. Mejia.

Dr. Noe’s speech focused on the concept of trust.

“Wear your white coat with both pride and humility,” said Dr. Noe. “Honor the trust that others place in you because of it.”

Presenting the white coats for the College of Medicine was: Anthony Ferretti, D.O., Assistant Dean of Clinical Education; Ronald Berezniak, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs; Mark Coty, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Preclinical Education and Mohamed Hussein, Ph.D., Faculty Council President.

Presenting for the School of Pharmacy was: Sunil Jambhekar, Ph.D., Associate Dean; Julie J. Wilkinson, Pharm.D., M.S., Associate Dean; and Teresa Schweiger, Pharm.D., Assistant Dean.

White coats were provided to the students by sponsors CVS Caremark Pharmacy and the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association.

From left: LECOM Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Silvia Ferretti, D.O.; College of Medicine White Coat ceremony speaker Sasha Noe, D.O. ('09); Florida Osteopathic Medical Association President Hal Pineless, D.O.; LECOM Bradenton Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Robert George, D.O. and American Osteopathic Association Representative Larry Wickless, D.O.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine offers innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania,Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM believes that when mind, body and spirit come together the impossible becomes suddenly possible. It is a calling each and every one of our students embodies to become the best they can be. To prevent disease and treat it. To give hope. Can you hear the calling?

January 28, 2013
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