Scrubs Ceremony 2013: Combat Clothes for the Physician

On October 2, 2013, Einstein's Alumni Association hosted its eighth annual Scrubs Day Ceremony, along with Dr. Todd Olson and Dr. Sherry Downie, who lead the gross anatomy course for first-year medical students. In addition to introducing students to their anatomy class lab partners, the ceremony serves to connect them with the alumni who came before them — many of whom donate the scrubs students wear during their course.

Dr. Jack Stern, class of 1974, issued the event's opening remarks, noting that when he was a student, there was no ceremony held to mark this significant milestone in students' medical careers, and that he was happy to be a part of it every year. The students then heard from Dr. Harris Goldstein, class of 1980, who is associate dean for scientific resources at Einstein, as well as professor of pediatrics and of microbiology & immunology, and the Charles Michael Chair in Autoimmune Diseases. It was Dr. Goldstein who suggested that students be presented with what he calls "combat clothes for a physician"; the annual Scrubs Ceremony evolved from that idea.

Dr. Goldstein stressed that the clothes and the person wearing them complete each other and that respect for the physician's white coat — which first-year students received during an earlier "On Becoming a Physician" ceremony — is earned through first wearing scrubs.

Next, Dr. Raja Flores, class of 1992, reminded the students that it is a privilege to work with cadavers. "Treat your cadaver with respect and imagine the person inside," he said. He also cautioned students to rid themselves of arrogance, explaining, "Arrogance prevents the ability to learn from one's mistakes, diminishes teamwork and is a patient's worst enemy."

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dr. Olson announced the various teams of anatomy lab partners, peer advisors and clinical advisors for the course. Students were then presented with their scrubs, along with the name of their cadaver donor — a further reminder of the need for humility as they proceed with their development as future physicians.

Einstein faculty member Dr. Harris Goldstein, class of 1980, describes how scrubs connect doctors to their patients
Einstein faculty member Dr. Harris Goldstein, class of 1980, describes how scrubs connect doctors to their patients
Dr. Raja Flores, class of 1992, discusses the notion of humility with the students
Dr. Raja Flores, class of 1992, discusses the notion of humility with the students
Medical students in their new scrubs, or “combat clothes”
Medical students in their new scrubs, or “combat clothes”
 

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