NYMC > News and Events > News Archives

D.P.T. Class of 2026 Celebrates the Start of Clinicals with the White Coat Ceremony

With Support from Leadership, Faculty, and Loved Ones, D.P.T. Students Donned Their White Coats for the First Time, Marking a Significant Milestone

April 17, 2024
A group of doctorate of physical therapy candidates outside of the Medical Education Center.
The White Coat Ceremony marked a significant milestone in the academic journey of the Class of 2026 Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

Students gathered for photographs and conversations, clutching their pristine white coats, as they looked forward to their next two years of clinicals. Janet P. Dolot, M.S., D.P.T., Dr.P.H. '14, PT, OCS, professor, program director, and chief of the Division of Physical Therapy, set the tone by introducing Rabbi Baruch Fogel, M.A., of Touro University, for the invocation, followed by inspiring words for the students as they take this next leap in their educational journey. "Donning the white coat serves to remind wearers of their professional duty to practice with honor, caring, and a patient-centered approach," she said.
Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer, joined the ceremony remotely to share insights gained from his career, advising students to approach their roles with humility and a commitment to action in the face of challenges. He recommended, "I recommend to you that you don the white coat with humility and an intention to take action."
Ben F. Johnson, Ed.D., vice dean of the SHSP, expressed excitement about witnessing the students' journey towards fulfilling their aspirations in the field of physical therapy. "We look forward to watching you live out your dream as you move on toward the finish line of becoming a D.P.T.," he said.
Addressing the students, Catherine Curtis, PT, EdD, assistant professor of physical therapy, offered words of encouragement, urging students to trust the process, and let their passion guide them as they navigate their professional paths. "As you embark on your first clinical and future professional life, you may feel daunted by the expectations to kick out all you’ve crammed into your head," she said. "Don’t be afraid, trust the process. You have everything it takes. Let your heart guide you. Your head and hands will find a way."
Alumnus keynote speaker Jonathan Filipe, D.P.T. '16, head athletic trainer of the Brooklyn Nets and sports and orthopedic clinical specialist, delivered an empowering message, highlighting the inevitable challenges ahead while emphasizing the profound impact they will have on countless individuals throughout their careers. "These next two years, you will find many shortcomings because every profession has them," he said. "Don’t fall into the trap of letting those shortcomings override the importance and impact you’ll have on thousands of people throughout your career."
The highlight of the ceremony came as students were called forward to don their white coats, symbolizing their transition into the clinical realm. With assistance from D.P.T. faculty members, they proudly adorned their new attire before reciting the Pledge for Physical Therapy from the American Physical Therapy Association Education Section 2004, reaffirming their dedication to their chosen profession.

Videos of the D.P.T. White Coat Ceremony and other ceremonies are available on the NYMC Youtube Channel.