MOULTRIE, Ga. — Fifty-nine students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) class of 2024 recently received their white coats in a virtual ceremony. 

PCOM South Georgia’s White Coat Ceremony marks a major milestone in the students' medical education. It's a rite of passage and a tradition that signifies the transition from student to clinician.

The first-year students were addressed by H. William Craver, III, DO ‘87, FACOS, dean and chief academic officer of PCOM South Georgia.

“Until recent times, awarding this coat happened upon completion of medical school training and the beginning of internship. Today, many medical schools, including PCOM, have embraced the idea that you are physicians from day one. Though your path remains long and your learning immense, you have reached the first milestone toward the end goal to become a healer, a physician.” 

He continued, “What is often forgotten, but I wish you to remember today, is that this white coat is not just an acknowledgement that you have joined this honorable group, but that you are willing to accept the significant, deep and life lasting responsibilities of being a physician. Lifelong learning, respect to those entrusted to our care, often at the expense of times with our families and personal desires, striving to always do our best, and last but not least, holding ourselves to a standard of practice and ethics beyond reproach.”

Evelyn Faith White (DO '24), an Albany native and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College graduate, said she feels a sense of gratitude and achievement for making it this far in the journey to becoming a physician. 

"I am filled with an attitude of excitement and adventure, because as a student of the medical profession I am just at the beginning of gaining experience, sharpening my skills, and learning the information that will enable me to be an excellent physician,” White said. “The white coat symbolizes my hopes, dreams, and the struggle it took to get to this point in my medical education. It reminds me that when we work hard to acquire knowledge, expertise, and understanding it is never wasted.”

Macy Rowan (DO '24), a Valdosta native, said the ceremonial receiving of her white coat gave her excitement and gratitude.

"Receiving my white coat immediately gave me the excitement of knowing I’d made it to medical school while also reminding me of the long journey that lies ahead,” she said. “I am thankful for the support of my family, friends, and mentors, and I am humbled to carry the responsibility of wearing a white coat and becoming a physician. My white coat reminds me of my mission to serve the communities of South Georgia both now and in the future, and I am grateful to be here at PCOM South Georgia!"

During their first few weeks at PCOM South Georgia, students in the class were tasked with writing a class mission statement which follows below.

We, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine South Georgia Class of 2024, promise:

  • To attain the skills necessary to be successful osteopathic physicians and affirm that we will be life-long learners.
  • To be voices of reason within a global community, demonstrate adaptability within an ever-evolving medical landscape, and display perseverance against all adversities.
  • To practice medicine as a collaborative effort that requires establishing interprofessional relationships with fellow healthcare professionals to strive toward health equity.
  • To advocate for the medically underserved and provide exceptional care to all patients regardless of background, gender, race, or other determinants of health.
  • To uphold the tenets of osteopathic philosophy by caring for our body, mind, and spirit, and promote these principles to our patients, friends, families, and communities. 
  • Finally, we promise to embody the core values of respect, empathy, integrity, compassion, professionalism, and cultural humility in thought, word, and deed. 

We are grateful for our family, friends, faculty, staff, and mentors who continue to support us throughout our journey.

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