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Jul 20 2012

From Classroom to Clinic: Medical Students Receive White Coats

NYCOM white coats

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (July 20, 2012) - New York Institute of Technology’s future osteopathic physicians received their white coats at a formal ceremony this week, marking the start of their clinical education following two years of classroom and lab work.

With the help of alumni, 284 students from NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, proudly donned their white coats and looked forward to clinical assignments at NYCOM hospital affiliates in the region.

Barbara Ross-Leee “The white coat you receive is a visual reminder of the physician’s commitment to do no harm, and of your promise to bring a patient-centered, hands-on approach to the practice of medicine,” said NYIT President Edward Guiliano. “As the debates and rhetoric around us continue to swirl, your experience in the health care system and questions about it … such as what’s equitable and how do we address disparities…become even more part of your professional responsibility — another thread, if you will, in your white coat.”

The ceremony honored Thomas Scandalis, D.O. ’87 and former dean, who is returning to the classroom as chair of the new Department of Sports Medicine and director of NYIT’s new Center for Sports Medicine and Performance Sciences.

“See yourself as the patient,” Scandalis told the students, noting that doctors represent healing and hope. “Picture a stranger in a white coat coming into your room to stick a needle in your arm, or to do a very thorough physical exam. Be compassionate, be humble, and become an expert at everything you do.”

He added that the students’ most important job is “to learn for the future.”

“The ultimate responsibility for the care of the patient lies with you, and you only,” he said. “You’re not ready right now, but you will be. You need to be.”

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs, said the white coat marks a significant milestone and told the students that as physicians-in-training, they will be required to apply acquired knowledge and skills to patients in varying clinical settings.

"This rite of passage is an acknowledgement of your achievement thus far and serves as a symbol of your ongoing commitment to the profession you aspire to enter and the patients you are entrusted to serve," she said.

The ceremony ended with the students’ pledge of commitment to lifelong learning and dedication to the osteopathic profession. Forty-three students were inducted into the National Osteopathic Honor Society, Psi Sigma Alpha.

About NYIT

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.

Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit




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