The College of Medicine Class of 2020 at LECOM at Seton Hill reached a major milestone on Saturday when they received their white coats at the annual ceremony held at the Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center in Greensburg, Pa.
One hundred and twelve first-year medical students were awarded white coats. The ceremony is an important rite of passage for medical students. As they approach the mid-point of their first semester of medical school, the students are moving from pre-clinical education to more clinical, hands-on training.
Irv Freeman, Ph.D., Vice President of LECOM at Seton Hill, welcomed the students, their families and friends and provided a history of the ceremony, stating its significance.
“The white coat ceremony not only provides an opportunity for first-year medical students to reaffirm the commitment they made to become competent osteopathic physicians, but the ceremony also reaffirms LECOM’s commitment to providing the highest level of education and clinical training necessary to help these students achieve their goal,” said Dr. Freeman.
The class was addressed by guest speaker Michael Hoy Yates, Jr., D.O., LECOM Class of 2006. Dr. Yates is the lead overnight physician at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga., his home state. Dr. Yates, an accomplished opera singer, wrote the LECOM Alma Mater Anthem and participated in the Erie Opera Company and the Edinboro University Chancellor Choir.
Dr. Yates, who told the students and audience that because of the pride he feels for his alma mate he wears his class ring daily, encouraged the students and articulated the significance of receiving their white coats.
“The pride it gives me to speak on such a historic and momentous occasion is overwhelming,” said Dr. Yates. “Today, you are endowed with your white coat for the first time. And I congratulate each and every one you. This is a symbol of student learning and at LECOM a milestone to remember.”
Following Dr. Yates’ speech, the students received their white coats and stethoscopes and were led by Silvia M. Ferretti, D.O., Vice President, Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs in the recitation of the Pledge of Commitment.