Cooper Medical School of Rowan Univerisity
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Charter Class receives white coats in formal ceremony

A milestone marked for CMSRU

Dr. Reid cloaking Ernest EguThe 50 medical students who make up the charter class of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University donned their crisp, personalized white coats for the very first time at a special “White Coat Ceremony” on Friday in Camden, NJ. The event, held in the presence of family, friends and faculty, also included a recitation of the Hippocratic Oath, a symbolic welcome into the profession of medicine and an affirmation of the Class of 2016’s commitment to the highest standards of ethics and patient care.

“There are many transitions that occur during a medical student’s journey, but none are quite as publicly visible as the first time students cover their regular clothes with this pristine coat,” noted Paul Katz, MD, CMSRU’s founding dean. “The white coat identifies the medical student as a healer, a part of the vast and complex healthcare system in our country. While they have much to learn on their journeys to truly becoming healers in the true academic sense of the word, donning the white coat marks the first steps on that journey.”

Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), was the keynote speaker at CMSRU’s inaugural White Coat Ceremony. “I admire Cooper Medical School for its deep commitment to recruiting a diverse and service-oriented inaugural class that understands the special challenges the people of Camden face, challenges shared by many of our nation’s cities and rural areas,” said Dr. Kirch. “As one of the nation’s newest medical schools, Cooper Medical School has a unique opportunity to train the next generation of physician leaders who can help create the kind of transformational change our health system needs.”

The AAMC represents the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals and academic societies. Dr. Kirch, a distinguished physician, educator and medical scientist, speaks and publishes widely on the need for transformation in the nation’s health care system and how academic medicine can lead that change across medical education, biomedical research and patient care.

Drawn from more than 2,900 applicants, 74 percent of CMSRU’s charter class hails from New Jersey. The students bring with them a wealth of diverse life experiences and backgrounds in fields such as academia, research, military, performing arts, and missionary work, but all share the drive to become successful physicians and the passion to affect change in their communities. Ranging in age from 22 to 36 with an average age of 25, women make up 58 percent of the Charter Class. Almost half have chosen to live in the City of Camden, exemplifying CMSRU’s mission to positively impact the city it calls home.

The White Coat Ceremony – a tradition at more than 100 medical schools across the country – took place in CMSRU’s brand new 250-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium. The event was made possible with a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a public foundation dedicated to fostering humanism in medicine.

CMSRU was established in June 2009 through a partnership between Rowan University and The Cooper Health System and is located in Camden, NJ. The first new medical school in New Jersey in over 35 years, CMSRU will help address the physician shortage locally and nationally, and improve healthcare throughout the region. With its innovative curriculum, state-of-the-art facility and commitment to serving the community, CMSRU will provide a comprehensive, progressive medical education for physicians of tomorrow.