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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 08/15/01
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC Welcomes Academic Health Students at White Coat Ceremony

Cincinnati--The 182nd class of incoming students to the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine will receive their white coats at the Sixth Annual White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 17.

The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium located in the Medical Sciences Building, 231 Albert Sabin Way. The purpose of the ceremony is to impress upon students the responsibility and significance of practicing medicine. The white coats, a gift from the College of Medicine Alumni Association, are presented as a symbol of the humanism needed in practicing medicine. One hundred fifty-seven students will recite the physician's oath of commitment to uphold ethical standards, integrity and respect for medicine and patient care.

"The white coat ceremony is a public recognition of the transition each student is making into the profession of medicine," said Dorothy Air, PhD, assistant senior vice president for entrepreneurial affairs at the UC Medical Center, who organizes the ceremony. "Each incoming student will make a personal commitment to uphold the humanistic values inherent in providing patient care, to strive always for excellence and to accept and execute all of the responsibilities associated with the practice of medicine. The white coat ceremony is truly a celebration for students and their families of past accomplishments and new beginnings."

John Tew, Jr., MD, Frank H. Mayfield professor of neurosurgery at the College of Medicine and medical director of the Mayfield Neuroscience Institute, will deliver the keynote speech at the ceremony.

"When I entered medical school 44 years ago, I was greeted by a famous professor of neurosurgery who later became my mentor and father figure," Tew said. "He taught me that the most important lesson in life as a physician is to heal by caring. Caring is best demonstrated by sitting down and touching the patient."

Tew, a 31-year veteran of UC, is a specialist in neurosurgery. Throughout his medical career, Tew received honors, including a first place teaching award from the Ohio State Medical Association, Distinguished Service Award at UC Medical Center, American Medical Association awards, Hospital Hero and Best Doctors in America ranking.

"Students in 2001 enter an era of medicine when technology and knowledge is supreme, however our patients need a caring physician more than ever. I wish that I had been told what a blessing it is to become a physician. Daily, I thank God for the opportunities that my teachers and patients have given me. I cannot imagine a more grace-filled profession," Tew said.

The white coats will be distributed by Andrew Filak, MD, associate dean of medical education and associate professor of the Department of Family Medicine; Peter Frame, MD, professor of clinical medicine and director of the Infectious Diseases Center (formerly the AIDS Treatment Center) in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Evelyn Hess, MD, professor emeritus in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Immunology. Robert Maltz, MD, president of UC College of Medicine Alumni Association, will pin students with the Humanism in Medicine pins.

The white coat ceremony is organized at 46 medical schools throughout the United States. The first white coat ceremony was established at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1994.

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