Western’s 19th White Coat Ceremony had a special significance for the Habib family of Oakville.
Siblings, Eric, Medicine Class of 2019, and Dora, Dentistry Class of 2019, received their White Coats together at the first combined White Coat Ceremony hosted by Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry today at Alumni Hall. Both siblings chose Schulich because of its tight-knit student community and balance between academic and personal life.
“We’re close friends who have been there for each other during our struggles; so, I’m really looking forward to having that support system during medical school,” Eric said.
Dora sees the opportunity to bring students from the two disciplines together. “It’s good to meet people outside of what you’re doing because it gives you a broader view of health care in general,” she said.
“While it is unique to have a combined school of both medicine and dentistry, it is intuitive,” said Dr. Michael Strong, Schulich Dean. “So many of our modern day illnesses find their origins in oral diseases and so much of our practice of medicine needs to consider the individual as a whole, that bringing together both medical and dental students for this truly memorable event is just a natural first step in their careers.”
The ceremony brought together 250 students, including 38 students from the Schulich’s Windsor Program, 56 Schulich Dentistry students and 20 students from the Internationally Trained Dentists Program. The White Coat Ceremony is a symbolic milestone, when students are presented with the white coats synonymous with their careers. Donning the white coat represents the official beginning of training for future doctors and dentists, welcoming them into their professions.
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Before 171 first-year medical students take their seats at Schulich this fall, they will have the chance to learn from health-care providers in rural and regional communities across southwestern Ontario during Community Day.
To be held Wednesday, Community Day gives medical students entering first year an opportunity to learn from health-care providers who interact with patients and families with diverse and unique health needs – from elderly patients and children with special needs to new Canadians and First Nations communities.
“For many of our students, Community Day is the first experience in a rural or regional community,” said Dr. George Kim, Assistant Dean, Rural & Regional Community Engagement. “On their first day as medical students, they are going to see first-hand that some of the best clinical medicine and research is happening in smaller communities across southwestern Ontario. They will discover that medicine is exciting, vibrant, dynamic and very rewarding.”
Local community health providers will introduce students to the realities of practising medicine, demonstrating infection control techniques, how to assess seniors, and teaching blood pressure and body mass index calculations. The Thamesview Family Health Team in Chatham-Kent will even introduce medical students to nutrition and food preparation, with patient participation.
Community partners supporting the event include Woodstock General Hospital and Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre; St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and Central Community Health Centre in St. Thomas; Chatham-Kent Health Alliance; Thamesview Family Health Team; Bluewater Health and Rapids Family Health Team in Sarnia; as well as Central Lambton Family Health Team and Bluewater Health in Petrolia.