School of Medicine to Hold White Coat Ceremony in Savannah

Statue of Jesse Mercer on the Mercer campus.

SAVANNAH – More than 40 first-year students in Mercer University's School of Medicine will receive their white coats and be welcomed into the medical profession this Saturday in Savannah.

The Savannah campus white coat ceremony will take place on Sept. 26, 11 a.m., in the newly renovated Mercer Auditorium on the first floor of the William and Iffath Hoskins Center on the campus of Memorial University Medical Center. 

“Although these students have years of study ahead, this white coat ceremony will instill in them the importance of professionalism and empathy in medicine as they enter the medical community,” said William F. Bina, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, dean of the School of Medicine. “It represents the public acknowledgement by the students of the responsibilities of the profession and their willingness to assume such obligations in the presence of family, friends and faculty.”

William Bromberg, M.D., FACS, associate professor of surgery, will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Bina and Samuel D. Murray, M.D., associate dean of admissions, will cloak the 45 participants.

This year, SunTrust has provided support for the School of Medicine's white coat ceremonies in Macon and Savannah. The Macon ceremony was held Aug. 29.

“SunTrust Foundation is proud to partner with Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, and honored to be a part of this auspicious occasion,” said David Camden, president of SunTrust Bank, Savannah Region. “Investing in schools and educational programs that support deserving and dedicated students, such as these, is essential to not only the lives of the students, but our communities, and ultimately the economic viability of our state. To that end, we salute this fine group of future medical professionals.”

The white coat ceremony was designed by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation as a way to welcome new medical students and set clear expectations regarding their primary role as physicians by professing an oath.

Today, the ceremony emphasizes the importance of compassionate care as well as scientific proficiency. The first white coat ceremony took place in 1993 at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Since then, more than half of the nation's medical schools have had some form of white coat ceremony.

About the Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)

Mercer University's School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened a full four-year campus in Savannah in 2008 at Memorial University Medical Center. In 2012, the School began offering clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students in Columbus. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School's primary teaching hospitals: Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master's degrees in family therapy, preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. and Psy.D. in clinical medical psychology.