A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) honored the class of 2024 with a White Coat Ceremony on Saturday, July 17, 2021.
Such an event is usually held at the start of the students’ first year of medical school, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented that and delayed this event for a year.
“This day has been a long time coming, after an incredibly difficult and challenging year,” said Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, ATSU-KCOM dean and professor. “No one could have imagined, when these students were applying to medical school, how the world and our daily lives would change due to a global pandemic.
“Somehow, they and we managed to navigate those adversities and continue forward toward their dreams of becoming osteopathic physicians. Today is a day to celebrate the achievements of the class of 2024.”
Students recited the “Osteopathic Pledge of Commitment” and received their first white coat, symbolizing their commitment and responsibility to their profession and future patients.
Jacob Speechley, OMS III, ATSU-KCOM Student Government Association past president, provided the ceremonial key transfer to Justin Hicklin, OMS II, representing the class of 2024.
“You all know more than anyone else how incredibly difficult your first year of medical school was in so many ways, and despite the many chances to turn back, you didn’t,” Speechley said. “On the good days, the bad days, it didn’t matter. You survived. You never quit and you made it through your first year of medical school amidst a global pandemic. There are not many people who can say that, so be proud of yourselves. Really, really proud, because we all are proud of you.”
“We’ve been through a lot this last year,” Hicklin said. “There were some ups and downs, and this isn’t your typical White Coat Ceremony, but we’re not your typical class. We’re energetic, we’re resilient, and I think that’s going to make us better doctors one day.”