White Coat Ceremony Welcomes Students Entering Medical Field on Heels of Pandemic
NYU Long Island School of Medicine held a White Coat Ceremony today—a rite of passage for students entering medical schools the world over—except this year’s initiation was unprecedented, coming on the heels of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Adapting to this environment, the medical school has developed a “hybrid” curriculum for the upcoming semester: a combination of in-person and tele-education training that may serve as a microcosm for how many colleges will model their curriculums for the upcoming school year.
More than 4,200 students vied for the 24 admitted slots for NYU Long Island School of Medicine—which offers full-tuition scholarships—illustrating the unwavering dedication of these individuals entering the field of medicine during this challenging time.
“Our students are entering this field with a great solemnity and clarity of purpose, with the pandemic energizing them even more so to help advance medical care,” says Steven Shelov, MD, MS, founding dean and chief academic officer at NYU Long Island School of Medicine. “Our hybrid curriculum is unique to medical schools, from the very outset integrating basic science with clinical experiences—a bench-to-bedside approach where classroom learning transfers directly to clinical cases.”
As part of the hybrid model, tele-educational aspects will include weekly prerecorded lectures by faculty followed by twice-weekly, virtual question and answer sessions. For in-person classroom training, the school will adhere to the strictest of infection prevention protocols, allowing for critical learnings such as anatomy and the delivery of outpatient clinical care. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided and utilized, including face shields as appropriate for up-close educational sessions. In-person learning sessions will be problem-based, with small groups of about eight students each pursuing medical case scenarios to collaboratively identify and diagnoses “illnesses.” Students will virtually research relevant medical issues on their own to contribute to in-person discussions.
NYU Long Island School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony
The school’s new White Coat Ceremony included students reciting a version of the Hippocratic Oath acknowledging their commitment to serving humanity with honor, compassion, and dignity. During the ceremony, each student donned a white medical coat in a ritual that could be seen by family and friends via Zoom.
“Medicine is about lifelong learning, and the path to becoming a physician is not linear,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, the dean of NYU Grossman School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health. “To succeed requires enormous knowledge and understanding of diseases—and the ability to rapidly adapt to evolving medical sciences. NYU Long Island School of Medicine will provide our students with the capacity to create a legacy of significant accomplishment in all of these regards.”
Incoming Class at NYU Long Island School of Medicine
Incoming students come from all over the country, with 17 from the tristate area—including 3 from Long Island—and others from Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia, and beyond. They hail from top universities such as Brown, Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and NYU, as well as schools in the CUNY and SUNY systems such as City College of New York, Brooklyn College, and Stony Brook. Ten students are male, including 1 who is an award-winning K–12 school nurse, and 14 are female. Eight students entering the school are the first in their families to graduate from college; one shared a story about how a dearth of medical care in his rural, West Africa home region inspired him to become a primary care physician so that he could help keep patients healthy.
More About NYU Long Island School of Medicine
NYU Long Island School of Medicine, which initiated its inaugural school year last summer, is a partnership between NYU and NYU Langone Health, situated on the campus of NYU Winthrop Hospital. The school offers full-tuition scholarships with an innovative, accelerated three-year curriculum exclusively devoted to training primary care physicians. The curriculum is concentrated on internal and community medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery, and contrasts with more traditional four-year schools that tend to focus on specialty medicine.
“It’s an inspiring time to study medicine,” says Andrew Hamilton, president of NYU. “The past six months have given us all a renewed appreciation for the heroism of doctors and nurses, and ‘essential’ seems too weak a word to describe the work that we are training NYU Long Island School of Medicine students to perform. In particular, they will be fulfilling a pressing need for primary care physicians in this country.”