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Jul 17 2014

Medical Students Transition from Classroom to Clinic

Wolfgang Gilliar

Woodbury, N.Y. (July 17, 2014) ­– Nearly 300 NYIT medical students received their white coats yesterday in a College of Osteopathic Medicine ceremony steeped in tradition and pride.

Special guests and alumni “coated” the students, who will leave campus next month to start their clinical rotations. Their longer, personalized white coats mark the transition into this new two-year phase of their medical education.

“Students, 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 going to be entrusted to serve,” said Dean Wolfgang Gilliar, DO, at the ceremony at Crest Hollow Country Club.

Gilliar inducted 46 students – all in the top 15% of the class - into the Psi Sigma Alpha Honor Society.  

Keynote speaker Russell Owen Schub, DO, a 1984 NYITCOM graduate and expert in internal medicine and gastroenterology, offered the students five points of advice or “prescriptions,” labeling them “universal and unchanging aspects of medicine.”

Schub said students should remember that “the unexpected can be a blessing” and that “being different can be emancipating.” He said osteopathic medicine’s philosophy of treating the whole patient, as well as using the skill of osteopathic manual manipulation have been guideposts in his professional path and in his interactions with patients.

“You’ll be a better doctor, because you’re different,” he said.

Schub also advised students to take advice but trust themselves, keep a strong work-life balance, and remain optimistic about the medical field.

“You’re either all in, or you’re out. I say, be in…and give everything you have,” he said. “This career is not about you; it’s about your patients. It’s about the people in pain who are looking to you for answers, for support, for clarity.”

NYIT President Edward Guiliano, Ph.D. noted that the students have developed competence and confidence as a result of their own hard work in addition to NYITCOM’s technology and excellent faculty.

white coat“You enter the medical profession at a remarkable time,” he said. “The future of health care, debates about the health care workforce, physician shortages, and customary political battles swirl around us. Disparities in health care access become quickly apparent. We need you – smart, compassionate medical leaders who are dedicated to lifelong learning.”

Among the NYITCOM alumni coaters were several current faculty members: Theodore Flaum, Sharon Koehler, Donna McMahon, Sonia Rivera Martinez, Paula Ryo, Karen Sheflin, David Tegay, Andrea Watson, and Sheldon Yao.

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 13,000 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, nearly 100,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit

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