The 162 first-year students at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) took their first steps toward becoming physicians on Friday, Sept. 21, when they received their first white coats in a ceremonial rite of passage for doctors.
The White Coat Ceremony is designed to establish a psychological contract for beginning medical students that stresses the importance of compassionate care for the patient and professionalism, as well as scientific proficiency.
“Becoming a physician is a transformational process,” said Dr. Robert T. Hasty, Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. “This was a milestone for ICOM’s inaugural class.”
Each student will receive a white coat donated by Mattie and Tony Bendall, faculty members of ICOM, during the ceremony, held at Boise Centre East.
The physician’s white coat has been part of the profession since the 19th century. The concept originated from the operating room’s white coat, and has served as a visual symbol of the profession that stands for the need to balance excellence in science with compassionate caring for the patient.