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On Becoming a Physician

Annual Event Marks Entry into Medicine

Einstein alumni cloaking members of the class of 2017
Einstein alumni cloaking members of the class of 2017
On Thursday, August 15, 2013, members of the class of 2017 gathered in Robbins Auditorium with their families and members of the Einstein community for the sixth annual On Becoming a Physician ceremony. The event promotes compassion and professionalism in conjunction with presenting first-year students their white coats – the essential garb that is the distinction of a physician. As medical students, members of the class of 2017 will wear the coat throughout the next four years, during clinical observations and training.

First-year student Leon Siegel leads his classmates in reciting their class oath
First-year student Leon Siegel leads his classmates in reciting their class oath
Dr. Allen M. Spiegel, the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean, issued the ceremony's opening remarks, welcoming its attendees. Dr. Stephen Baum, senior associate dean for students, then discussed the event's history and its continuing theme of professionalism. He noted the symbolism of the white coat, from both a historic perspective and with regard to the growth that students will experience while wearing the coats.

Dr. Baum also introduced the evenings keynote speaker, Dr. Edward Burns, executive dean, who, himself, is an alumnus of the College of Medicine.

Dr. Burns, whose parents were Holocaust survivors, explained that their struggle led him to pursue a career in medicine with the hopes of being able to treat all varieties of people. He reminded Einstein's newest crop of students about the importance of caring. "Remember that patients are people first and foremost, not just learning opportunities."

Following Dr. Burns' speech, piano music, beginning with "New York, New York," beckoned the students up to the auditorium's stage where a team of Einstein alumni cloaked them in their new white coats. Dr. Elizabeth Kitsis, associate professor of clinical epidemiology & population health and of clinical medicine, then told those gathered of the oath-writing process that the student underwent during their orientation week activities. She introduced first-year student Leon Siegel, who led his classmates in reciting the class oath they had written together.

Watch the videos from the ceremony

Posted on: Tuesday, September 10, 2013