25th annual white coat ceremony held for newest class of medical students
The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM) held its 25th annual White Coat ceremony for the class of 2026 to welcome the students into the medical profession and to honor their commitment to serving the needs of their future patients.
The event was held on Saturday, September 10, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.
The White Coat ceremony is a meaningful tradition in which UNE COM faculty, professional staff, students, and alumni welcome first-year medical students as colleagues dedicated to patient care.
The White Coat ceremony or a similar rite of passage takes place at the majority of allopathic and osteopathic schools of medicine in the United States, as well as at medical schools in Israel.
The guest speaker for this year’s event was UNE alum Uzma Syed, D.O. ’05, a board-certified infectious disease physician, partner at South Shore Infectious Disease, and both the chair of the COVID-19 Task Force and the director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center. She has led several COVID-19 therapeutics clinical trials as the principal investigator.
Jane Carreiro, D.O., dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, welcomed the crowd and spoke to the students gathered.
“The combination of success and sacrifice, power and service, is why medicine is a vocation and not a job,” she said. “You will grow in knowledge and skills, and you will develop the qualities that will make you an outstanding osteopathic physician. I have that faith in you. However, for true growth, you must learn to value your strengths and recognize your challenges in order to develop confidence while maintaining humility. This is critical.”
As they wore their white coats for the first time, the 182 students in the class of 2026 joined generations of physicians around the country committed to service through medicine.