White Coat Ceremony celebrates UQ-OCS

The University of Queensland (UQ) Ochsner Clinical School honored 113 doctors-in-training at the ninth annual White Coat Ceremony on Saturday 5 January at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center (6400 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA 70003). The White Coat Ceremony for the Ochsner Clinical School students signifies the official recognition of the students entering phase II of the Medical Degree program which is focused on clinical experiences.

“The White Coat Ceremony is an iconic rite of passage and a significant step forward in the medical student’s career path toward becoming a physician,” said Leonardo Seoane, MD, Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health System. “From today forward, every time a medical student puts on their white coat, it will serve as a physical reminder of the oath these students have taken to serve, to heal, to lead, to educate and to innovate for their patients.”

David F. Lewis, MD, MBA, Dean of the School of Medicine for Louisiana State University – Shreveport served as the keynote speaker. Following the cloaking of students and presentation of Humanism in Medicine pins, the ceremony concluded with the reciting of the Oath of Clinical Students, which officially commences the clinical phase of training for the 113 doctors-in-training in UQ Ochsner Clinical School’s class of 2020.

The origins of the modern day White Coat Ceremony date back to 1989 when Dr. Arnold P. Gold – a teacher and pediatric neurologist for more than 40 years at Columbia University – realised handing out white coats and reciting the Hippocratic Oath after four years of medical school was too late. Gold believed students needed well-defined guidelines regarding the expectations and responsibilities appropriate for the medical profession prior to their first day of education and training. This belief inspired the creation of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for the advocacy and sponsorship of what has become known as the White Coat Ceremony.

“The White Coat Ceremony is a celebration of everything these doctors-in-training have accomplished and an affirmation of their dedication to this program,” said Ronald Amedee. MD, Dean of Medical Education and University of Queensland, Head of Ochsner Clinical School, “It is an honor for our exceptional faculty at the UQ Ochsner Clinical School to foster the next generation of medical professionals.”

The 113 medical students from UQ Ochsner Clinical School’s class of 2020 who received their White Coats graduated from respected institutions across the country including Boston College, Georgetown University, Emory University, Northwestern University, Texas A&M University and Vanderbilt, as well as in-state programs at Louisiana State University and Tulane University.

The UQ Ochsner Clinical School is a unique four-year training, academic and clinical experience, which takes place across two continents. The first two years of medical school curriculum take place in Brisbane, Australia at UQ, which is recognised as one of the top universities in the world and ranked 42nd worldwide on the 2019 US News Best Global Universities list. The final two years of clinical study are completed with the Ochsner Health System – one of the largest independent academic medical centers in the United States – in New Orleans, LA at UQ’s Ochsner Clinical School.

Members of the 2017 UQ Ochsner Clinical School graduating class garnered an impressive 95 per cent match rate through the National Residency Match Program (NRMP), which is comparable to other medical schools in the U.S. Students from the class of 2017 matched into residency training programs at many prestigious institutions across the country such as Ochsner Medical Center, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Emory University, University of Chicago, Dartmouth University, St. Louis University, Loma Linda University and Icahn SOM at Mount Sinai, as well as the in-state programs at Tulane University and LSU New Orleans and Shreveport.


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