President Edward Guiliano addresses NYIT medical students receiving their white coats in a College of Osteopathic Medicine ceremony steeped in tradition and pride.
Greetings. It’s a pleasure to be with you at this notable point in the personal and professional lives of 298 third-year medical students at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine.
I am happy we can also witness the induction of 46 students into Psi Sigma Alpha, the National Osteopathic Honor Society. Congratulations.
Students, as you know, your personalized white coat is a visual reminder of the physician’s commitment to “do no harm” and of your promise to be a patient-centered, hands-on practitioner of medicine. It also marks the point when you are going to get asked for a lot more free medical advice.
Technology has played a key role in your medical education at NYIT COM. And new technologies are changing the practice of medicine.
In The New York Times article entitled, “The Doctor’s Bag for the New Millennium,” Abraham Verghese, a physician (and author of the novel "Cutting for Stone") noted that he now carries with him a pocket ultrasound machine, a special, improved scope for studying the eyes of his patients, and an iPad, so he can demonstrate anatomy, pull up videos, and teach patients, residents, and students. He says that the way we’ll know doctors of the next millennium is by the things you carry.
And of course you will carry your NYIT COM textbooks to your clerkships via the INK-LING platform on your smartphones. And you’ll use a fairly new suite of web-based interactive tools during your rotations – so no matter where you are in our system of 39 hospitals and outpatient facilities, you’ll have synchronous and asynchronous technology-mediated resources from NYIT at your fingertips.
Through technology, hard work, and an excellent faculty, you have developed your competence and confidence.
Many of you have already displayed a third C – compassion. In between long days and nights of learning, studying, and taking tests, you volunteered to improve the health of local communities. You adopted elementary school classes and donated back packs and school supplies. You ran, sang, grew moustaches, or shaved your heads to raise funds for charity. You’ve continued supporting the Girls and Boys Club of Glen Cove other charities. You are a compassionate group.
You enter the medical profession at a remarkable time. 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.
As the machines get smarter, you’ll do the same. One amazing fact I learned recently is the storage capacity of the human brain is about 2.5 petabytes. So although you’ve absorbed a lot here, you’re nowhere near the point of crashing your system (even though it may feel that way sometimes).
Today is a touchstone in your life. When you put on your white coat shortly, you will join an elite group. You will follow in the path of esteemed professionals, like tonight’s keynote speaker, Dr. Russell Owen Schub, class of 1984, and an expert in internal medicine and gastroenterology.
Congratulations to each of you, and good luck. We look forward to your return to campus in two years to celebrate your graduation.