Medical students in Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Class of 2027 received their white coats, learned about healthcare challenges in the Bronx and beyond, and bonded with classmates during a busy orientation week designed to prepare them for their educational journey and upcoming years of rigorous training.
The week’s activities culminated in the annual “On Becoming a Physician” ceremony, where alumni cloaked 183 first-year students with monogrammed short white coats that signify their formal entry into the medical field. The coats were donated by the Einstein Alumni Association.
“Years of hard work led to getting this white coat,” said Pushti Shah, 24. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I have a passion to help people who are underserved, people who are just as human as everyone else but who don’t get the same opportunities for healthcare because of where they live. I’m really excited to meet our patients and connect with them one-to-one.”
White Coats and a Class Oath
For medical students, the white coat ceremony is a rite of passage but also a sober reminder of their responsibilities to academics, service, and patient care.
Philip O. Ozuah, MD, PhD, President and CEO, Montefiore Einstein, welcomed the MD students and quoted the College of Medicine’s namesake about the tendency of humans to experience themselves as being “separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness,” which Einstein noted was a kind of prison. “He said, ‘Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion,’” said Dr. Ozuah.
Einstein’s interim dean, Harris Goldstein, MD '80, greeted the audience and commended the students for reaching this milestone. “I want to congratulate the incoming first-year class for all the dedication, hard work, resilience, fortitude and effort that was required for you to sit in your seat today as a student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.”
Dr. Goldstein, Senior Associate Dean, Scientific Affairs, and Professor, Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, also urged them to reflect on how their parents, family members, and loved ones have proudly helped them achieve their goals. Keeping those supporters in mind, he said, will serve as a “future moral and ethical compass” when faced with pressure, difficult medical decisions, and internal questions about the optimal care and treatment for patients.
Joshua D. Nosanchuk, MD, Senior Associate Dean, Medical Education, and Professor, Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, encouraged students to approach their career from the perspective of those they would serve.