donning the white coat…

it finally feels like it really happened.

being helped into my first white coat and thus guided onto the path of the physician.  shaking hands with faculty and later laughing with them over plates of refreshments.  taking pictures with new friends.

the ceremony was short, but it was perfect.  there was no lengthy list of speakers, no lofty cliches.  we were celebrated in an intimate way, as if we were all family.  coincidentally, this sense of community is the very feeling that led me to choose Vanderbilt in the first place.

one of the moments that i took away came when one of the deans mentioned that physicians earn their white coat again and again every day.  as i stare at the bright white coat with my name embroidered on the front, i think that every day, whether i’m coming back from class, the lab, or a clinical experience, i should ask myself if i still deserve to wear it.  this should keep me both humbled and motivated throughout my time in medical school and beyond.

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