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Annual ceremony welcomes new medical students

New medical student Lauren Welsh receives her white coat from Dr. Randy Renegar, assistant dean of student affairs at the Brody School of Medicine. Photo by Jeannine Manning Hutson
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Aug. 12, 2005)   —   The Class of 2009 of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University was officially welcomed today during the annual white coat ceremony.

Dr. Cynda Johnson, dean of the medical school, welcomed the 72 students and their friends and family members to the convocation and white coat ceremony. Johnson said the white coat is a symbolic, non-verbal communication that conveys a sense of seriousness of purpose, reasurrance and confidence. "It is a cloak of compassion," she said.

Dr. M.J. Barchman, associate professor of internal medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, told students some of the skills they will need as doctors.

"You need to be competent ... you need to be a good listener and be able to walk the patient through. It's what we call trust," Barchman said. She also advised students to be available, affable, able and an advocate.

"Be your patient's advocate," she said. "If you follow those four A's you won't end up in a courtroom. Take those four A's to heart and become trustworthy physicians."

Barchman also encouraged students to find a place to serve their community. She then led the students in the Oath of Hippocrates.

In addition to the coat, each student received a pin from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a public foundation dedicated to fostering humanism in medicine. Each student also received a book from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has a mission to improve the health and health care of all Americans.

The 35 men and 37 women in the class range in age from 20 to 34 with an average age of 24. As usual, they are all North Carolina residents with 31 counties of residence listed. They earned their undergraduate degrees from 25 different colleges and universities with the ECU having 16, the most; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has 14 alumni in the class and North Carolina State University has 12. Several students have multiple degrees from different institutions, and eight students have graduate degrees.


Contact: Jeannine Manning Hutson | 252-744-2481