White Coat Ceremony

Students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2025 received their white coats in a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 8. The ceremony is a tradition that symbolizes the transition from student to physician. 

MOULTRIE, Ga. — PCOM South Georgia’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2025 received their white coats at a ceremony held in Moultrie on Friday, Oct. 8.

The first-year medical students, who make up the most diverse and local class in the college’s short history, were coated by their professors — a tradition that symbolizes the transition from student to physician. 

Students in the DO Class of 2025 applied to medical school in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, interviewed virtually and eventually attended a college that most had not yet visited in person. Destiny Sciuva (DO ‘25), class chair, highlighted that tenacity during her speech to fellow students.

“We are the ones who run into the fire,” Sciuva said. “We began applying to medical school in the beginning of a global pandemic, and with many opportunities to turn around in the face of loss, doubt, and devastation, we showed up. We faced all of this head-on, and rather than let it come in the way of our dreams of becoming physicians, we allowed it to further compel us to embark on this journey. We’re consistent and we’re persistent. We’re passionate and we’re compassionate. And most importantly, we’re together, everyday before the sun rises until long after it sets. We are there for each other. We’re hungry for change, for knowledge, justice, equality, equity, inclusion and we’re determined to get everything on that list.”

Jay Feldstein, DO ‘81, PCOM president and CEO, addressed the students saying, “For the physician, the white coat is synonymous with the virtues of altruism, responsibility, and compassion. It reminds physicians of their duty — to lead their lives and practice their art with humanism and professionalism. Wearing your white coat comes with a sense of hope. You are the future of medicine. Your purpose must always be to care for your patients, to treat them in the holistic manner that will be the heart of your education.” 

Before the students received their coats, Marla Golden, DO '88, FACEP, associate dean of clinical education, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia and chair of clinical education, PCOM South Georgia, encouraged them to truly reflect on the momentous occasion. 

“These coats represent the work you will do using all the tools in your pockets and all the knowledge in your brains to perform the acts of kindness, love and service that our profession requires,” she said. “Respect them for everything they are and everything they symbolize.”

The White Coat Ceremony is an annual event in which first-year medical students receive their white coats. These coats are worn in a number of settings throughout medical school including standardized patient interactions, primary care skills labs, osteopathic manipulative medicine labs and eventually third- and fourth-year clerkship rotations.

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