The newest class of student doctors at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) took their first steps toward becoming physicians during the College’s fifth annual White Coat Ceremony on July 29.
In the presence of family, friends, faculty and staff, each of the 162 student physicians were welcomed into the medical community and “cloaked” with their first white coats.
“The White Coat Ceremony is a tradition that signifies the osteopathic medical student’s entrance into the medical profession and their commitment to patient care,” said Dr. Kevin Wilson, Interim Dean of ICOM. “Along with the Osteopathic Oath, this rite of passage emphasizes the dedication and solemn responsibility of osteopathic physicians to the health of their patients and communities.”
ICOM Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Marlin Trainer, led the Class of 2026 in reciting the Osteopathic Oath, which is again sworn during the traditional doctoral hooding ceremony four years hence.
Chief Executive Officer of the American Osteopathic Association, Kevin M. Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, provided the keynote address. Dr. Klauer encouraged the Class of 2026 to develop their professional identities, and to be proud in their distinction as osteopathic medical students.
“You have joined a community of 178,000 osteopathic physicians and osteopathic medical students,” Dr. Klauer told ICOM’s Class of 2026 during his keynote address. “We are 11.5 percent of the physician community. We’ve been here long enough…that our philosophy and who we are cannot be ignored. Yet, we are small enough and distinct enough that we are very unique. Perhaps unique enough that what you’re going to bring to the bedside is what patients want today. Your education, your degree and our collective commitment to the body, mind and spirit of humankind differentiates you from others who deliver health care.”
The physician’s white coat has been part of the profession since the 19th century. The concept originated from the operating room’s white coat, and has served as a visual symbol of the profession that stands for the need to balance excellence in science with compassionate caring for the patient.