116 Doctors in Training at University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School Receive White Coats

16 Jan 2020

Receiving a white coat is an iconic rite of passage for a doctor-in-training. On Saturday, January 11, 2020, the University of Queensland (UQ) Ochsner Clinical School held its 10thannual White Coat Ceremony at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center (6400 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA 70003).

During the ceremony, 116 doctors-in-training received their White Coats and were presented with Humanism in Medicine pins – a visual reminder displayed on the lapel of each White Coat to remind students to keep compassion and empathy at the center of clinical practice.

Susan T. Hingle, MD, FAMWA, FRCP, MACP, Associate Dean for Human and Organization Potential and Professor of Medicine at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, served at the keynote speaker. The ceremony concluded with a recitation of the Oath of Clinical students, which serves as the official start to the second phase of the UQ Ochsner Medical Degree program focused on clinical experiences.

“Receiving a White Coat is a physical reminder of the oath these students have taken to serve, to heal, to lead, to educate and to innovate for their patients – each and every day. It is a privilege for our exceptional faculty at UQ Ochsner Clinical School to play a role in shaping the next generation of physicians,” said Ronald Amedee, MD, Dean of Medical Education and University of Queensland, Head of Ochsner Clinical School.

The 116 medical students from UQ Ochsner Clinical School who received their White Coats graduated from respected institutions across the country including Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Emory University, University of California – Berkeley, Georgetown University, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, University of Virginia and New York University, as well as in-state institutions s including Louisiana State University.

The modern-day White Coat ceremony dates back to 1989 when Dr. Arnold P. Gold – a teacher and pediatric neurologist for more than 40 years at Columbia University – realized handing out White Coats and reciting the Hippocratic Oath after four years of medical school was too late. Gold believed students needed well-defined guidelines regarding the expectations and responsibilities appropriate for the medical profession prior to their first day of education and training. This belief inspired the creation of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for the advocacy and sponsorship of what has become known as the White Coat Ceremony.

Celebrating 10 Years of Global Education

Established in 2010, the UQ Ochsner Clinical School is a unique four-year training, academic and clinical experience, which takes place across two continents, providing students with a global perspective as they train to become doctors. Through this program, students gain exposure to global health concepts by experiencing both the Australian and American healthcare systems.

The first two years of medical school curriculum take place in Brisbane, Australia at UQ, which is recognized as one of the top universities in the world and ranked 42ndworldwide on the 2019 US News Best Global Universities list. The final two years of clinical study are completed with the Ochsner Health System – one of the largest independent academic medical centers in the United States – located in New Orleans, LA.

Highlights from the UQ Ochsner Clinical School’s first decade include:

  • More than 400 medical students have graduated from UQ Ochsner Clinical School and of those graduates, approximately one-third of those physicians have stayed in Louisiana to continue their training.
  • UQ Ochsner Clinical School averages a 94% match rate through the National Residency Match Program, which equals that of U.S. medical schools.
  • UQ Ochsner Clinical School students go on to train in every specialty at many prestigious institutions across the country such as Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, University of Pennsylvania and University of Chicago.
  • 54% of UQ Ochsner Clinical School graduates have chosen a primary care specialty, which is more than double the average of U.S. medical schools.

“Ten years ago, Ochsner Health System embarked on a partnership so revolutionary there was nothing else like it in the United States. After Hurricanes Katrina, Ochsner felt the environment was ripe for innovation and we saw an opportunity to create something entirely new – a medical school in New Orleans with a focus on global education,” said Leonardo Seoane, MD, Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health System. “Training the next generation of physicians to care for our community is one of the greatest responsibilities we have, especially given the projected physician shortage faced by our country, which is most pronounced in Southern states like Louisiana. Training the next generation of physicians is critically important to maintaining the wellbeing of our communities – both here at home and beyond.”