Students Don White Coats, Pledge to Care for Patients

Temiloluwa Adejuyigbe, Zachary Adams, Phillip Acosta, Mahmoud Abdulbaki
Temiloluwa Adejuyigbe, Zachary Adams, Phillip Acosta, Mahmoud Abdulbaki

More than 500 students, parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and faculty gathered on July 21 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to welcome 225 new students into the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.

Dean Robert Hromas, M.D., FACP, and other faculty gave counsel and wisdom to Class of 2022 members, who donned their white coats and recited the Hippocratic Oath, signifying their pledge to compassionately and ethically treat patients. The students embarked on the rigorous four-year medical school journey that, in testing their resolve and mettle, will produce superior physicians for Texas and the world.

Family and friends
Family and friends

In September, the Long School of Medicine marked the 50-year anniversary of the day it opened for classes in the South Texas Medical Center. The Class of 2022 is the 50th complete class for the school.

“It is fitting that on your first day of medical school, you should receive your white coat, which is an enduring symbol of professional competence, dedication and, to many who see it, hope,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president.

“The white coat is the most recognized symbol of medical healing,” Dr. Henrich added. “Reduced to its basic elements, it is merely white cloth and some lettering. It is inanimate and, in some settings, pedestrian. But like most symbols, when worn by a dedicated physician it conveys a promise, really a prayer, that healing, comfort and even a cure are attainable.”

Dr. Hromas began his address by recognizing the founding faculty of the Long School of Medicine who were seated on a second-story balcony overlooking the audience. He also recognized James “Larry” Holly, M.D., who graduated nearly 50 years ago and is a past distinguished alumnus.

Katerina Papanikolaou, Panos Papanikolaou, Nikos Papanikolaou, Ph.D., and Tami Papanikolaou
Katerina Papanikolaou, Panos Papanikolaou, Nikos Papanikolaou, Ph.D., and Tami Papanikolaou

“Medical students, you are going to have several thousand lectures during your medical school career. This is your first one,” Dr. Hromas said. “The first lesson of medical school is this: Teach yourself. What do I mean by that? I mean that becoming a physician is an inside-out endeavor. You have to learn the heart of a physician, the heart of healing, before you can learn the intellect of being a doctor.

Become aware of your inner strengths. Self-assess continually, in real time, what your character truly is. Then self-correct. This is the first and hardest lesson to learn.”

He urged students to be patient-centric, not egocentric. The need for self-esteem can hurt judgment and limit patient outcomes. “Have enough confidence in yourself to mistrust your experience,” he said.

Ashok Kumar, M.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor and associate chair for administration and finance in the Department of Family & Community Medicine, delivered the keynote address as the recipient of the 2018 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine for Faculty Award.

Joanna Jia, Cynthia Jiang, Frank Jing, Alexa Johnson, Christian Kaculini, Charles Kennedy, Matthew Kannenberg, Joshua Katuri, James Kennedy
Joanna Jia, Cynthia Jiang, Frank Jing, Alexa Johnson, Christian Kaculini, Charles Kennedy, Matthew Kannenberg, Joshua Katuri, James Kennedy

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In the 2018 issue of Future

Future is the official magazine of the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Read and share inspiring stories highlighting our medical alumni, faculty and students who are revolutionizing education, research, patient care and critical services in the communities they serve.

View the 2018 issue

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