Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) officially welcomed 363 new first-year September 2022 semester medical students during the White Coat Ceremony, held at Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Friday, September 9.
The White Coat Ceremony included a welcome from Rhonda McIntyre, MBBS, FAAP, FRCP (C), associate dean of RUSM, and opening remarks from Hedda Dyer, MBCHB (ED), MRCS (ED), MBA, chair, and professor of Department of Clinical Foundations.
“Today marks a very important milestone in your lives as you embark on your journey to join in this noble profession of medicine,” said McIntyre. “The significance of today’s ceremony will be brought into sharp focus as you recite the modified Oath of Geneva. The white coat ceremony and donning of your white coats is not only empowering, but also symbolic of your initiation into the medical profession,” she added.
Words of inspiration were also given during the keynote address by Sonal Bhatia, MD, chief medical officer Rare Disease Business Unit at Pfizer Inc. Dr. Bhatia earned her medical degree from RUSM in 2002 and completed her residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
“We have a commonality in finding purpose to serve,” said Dr. Bhatia. “We are here today to serve humanity and you have chosen a profession to serve as a noble physician. I think it is so exciting to think about that and reflect on how that is going to keep you going for the next decade of you journey. And as you go through your journey remember that you have to stay flexible, and you have to adapt because there is so much changing in our environment at a much faster pace than ever before.”
Dr. Bhatia also shared some of her journey and how growing up in Mexico City was a very different culture.
“I lived in a community of commonality, which is not where we live today anymore and yet that experience for 13 years gave me that desire to be able to bring people together and to bring cultures together, and find a way to give equity in everything that I did,” she said.