Amid colorful autumn foliage on October 13, medical students in the Class of 2027 gathered at UVM’s historic Ira Allen Chapel to receive their first white coats. This rite of passage officially welcomes students into the medical profession and emphasizes the responsibility they carry as they don the traditional physician’s white coat.
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, Christa Zehle, M.D.’99, welcomed the students along with an audience of nearly 600 people, including the students’ families, loved ones, and mentors, Larner faculty and staff. Larner dean Richard L. Page, M.D., UVM Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Leffler, M.D.’90, M.H.C.D.S., FACEP, professor of emergency medicine, and University Distinguished Professor of Medicine Mary Cushman, M.D.’89, M.Sc., president of the Larner College of Medicine Alumni Association, shared their reflections.
“Your white coat is a sign to the world that you are a healer and are committed to making people’s lives better. Wear it proudly but humbly,” advised Leffler from the podium. “Each patient you encounter is someone’s loved one, and each case you are involved in is an opportunity to make a difference. … As you continue your journey towards becoming a physician, please never forget that you have the power to make a real and lasting impact.