OUWB’s Class of 2025 begins medical school journey with White Coat Ceremony


Noora Neiroukh

The OUWB class of 2025 began the next step in their educational journeys at the White Coat Ceremony last Friday. The ceremony was the final event of a weeklong orientation to introduce incoming medical students to the William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Gabrielle Abdelmessih, Editor-in-Chief

On Friday, The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) welcomed their class of 2025 through the honored tradition of the White Coat Ceremony.

Created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993, the white coat ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students in which they are presented with the white coat that they will wear throughout their training. Students also take an oath that marks their matriculation into medical school, as well as their responsibility to care for future patients with compassion.

During the OUWB ceremony, students and guests were addressed by OU President and physician Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Stephan Sharf, Dean of OUWB Dr. Duane Mezwa, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Dr. Berkley Browne, and President of Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital Medical Staff Dr. James Robbins.

Their remarks highlighted the unique qualities and commitment to service of the class of 2025, as well as the challenging but rewarding journey ahead of them.

In front of family, friends, and faculty members, students donned their white coats with the help of a Beaumont Health physician and class of 2025 mentor and recited a revision of the Hippocratic Oath. Some students were even coated by mentors or family members who are physicians. The class of 2025 was also gifted stethoscopes and received letters of encouragement from Beaumont Health physicians.

Elan Pszenica, an OU undergraduate alumnus and member of the class of the 2025, described the moment he put on his white coat as “surreal.”

“When I first put it [the white coat] on, it was kind of a surreal experience,” he said. “I realized that I’m obtaining a symbol that demonstrates the ability to help and take care of others. It struck me that when I put it on, I would actually be practicing medicine now and wasn’t pre med anymore.”

Pszenica was also reflective on the new role he is taking on.

“It completely changed my perspective on my position in the community going from the role as a student to a medical student and beyond,” he said.

The ceremony was the final event of a weeklong orientation, which introduced the incoming medical students to OUWB.

Incoming M1 student, Paoula Choobchian shared her thoughts on the activities.

“Orientation week was great. We had each day dedicated to building professionalism, team-building activities, or had diversity and inclusion sessions together. I think of it kind of as a warm-up before the actual academic year starts,” she said. “We all got to know each other and become friends, and even become closer to faculty and to our mentors.”

To view a recording of the ceremony click here.