D.P.T. Class of 2023 Don Their White Coats Signaling Their Transition to Clinical Education
D.P.T. students donned their white coats for the first time as they look to begin their clinical studies.
Music rang through the Chouake and Cooke auditoriums as candidates for the New York Medical College School of Health Sciences and Practice Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Class of 2023 processed into the White Coat Ceremony on April 20, where for the first time they donned with their white coats as they look to begin their clinical studies. Observing physical distance guidelines, the ceremony was a combination of in-person and virtual attendees, with Michael J. Majsak, Ed.D., P.T., associate professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, kicking off the ceremony stating that this year "hasn't been easy to accomplish
Rabbi Baruch Fogel, M.A., Office of College Affairs, Touro College and University System, led an invocation, followed by remarks from Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer, who spoke about medical ethics in light of a recent law in Arkansas that allows medical professionals to elect not to treat non-emergency patients if they believe it violates their religious or ethical values. “To grapple with such issues is part of your work,” Dr. Halperin said.
Virtually appearing before the students, alumna Ellen Morello, PT, D.P.T., ’13, a senior program manager at Omada Health, spoke about the importance of being empathetic in their work. She called empathy the “backbone of all patient care” and stressed how it could positively impact relationships with patients as well as the overall work of a physical therapist. “My hope is that you find more ways to bring empathy in your clinical practice,” Dr. Morello said.
The highlight of the ceremony followed with the students donning their white coats with the assistance of faculty members and reciting the Pledge for Physical Therapy from the American Physical Therapy Association Education Section 2004, a pledge the D.P.T. Class of 2023 will reaffirm two years from now at commencement.
“It was a splendid occasion and it reconnected me with the fact that my walk towards my goal was intact and progressing,” said Oluwaseun Cole, D.P.T. Class of 2023. “It's a reminder of how much work the faculty and students have done in preparation for clinical education.”