The UCF College of Medicine welcomed 100 new M.D. students Monday at the traditional White Coat Ceremony, which recognizes first-year doctors-in-training as colleagues dedicated to patient care.
“We wish you much personal and professional growth as you begin your journey to medical expertise and greater service to humanity,” UCF President John Hitt told the students in front of hundreds of family and guests. “You are now an essential part of a bold new college that is gaining national attention as a 21st century model for medical education.”
The class of 2016 includes 53 men and 47 women; 76 are Florida residents and 11 percent are underrepresented minorities. Their undergraduate majors range from theater to accounting, engineering to zoology. Twenty of the new M.D. students are graduates of the college’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences.
The White Coat Ceremony included the new students’ first medical school assignment. Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, asked the class to list the traits they would want to see in a doctor caring for the most beloved person in their lives. Dr. German has conducted “The Good Doctor – A UCF Tradition” at each of the college’s four White Coat Ceremonies since the charter class was enrolled in 2009. As the students list the traits of the Good Doctor, Dr. German writes each word on a blackboard. In a matter of minutes, this year’s class had announced its traits, which including compassionate, courageous, caring, collaborative, a person who is culturally sensitive and a strong team worker.
The class debated some traits, such as whether ambition is a good trait for a doctor. The characteristic was kept on the Good Doctor list after students agreed it was appropriate – if ambition is used on behalf of patients, to improve as a doctor and to find new, better, cutting-edge treatments.
“It is my expectation that each one of you will become this Good Doctor with the guidance and help of our faculty and the support of your family, friends and this community,” Dr. German said.