More than 300 new students began their osteopathic medical school journey recently by receiving their white coats and scrubs during the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s 46th annual convocation and white coat ceremony at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts on June 10.
“After today your life will completely change,” said William D. Strampel, dean of the school, who told the Class of 2020 that from this point on their actions do not only reflect on them individually, but also on the college, the university and the profession.
Strampel welcomed the incoming students, their family and friends and told them that in roughly 1,427 days he would congratulate them again at graduation.
“In between, he noted, “we’ll give you a lifetime of education.”
Other speakers included Lawrence Prokop, a trustee with the Michigan Osteopathic Association and MSU associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, along with Student Government Association President Taran Silva.
Prokop urged the students to thank those who had encouraged and guided them to this point and told them what changes would be in store in the coming years.
“The people beside you today, the faculty and the staff, will become your new family and help you become the physician that you want to be,” he said.
Silva continued the theme, asking the students to applaud their family and friends and suggesting that the supporters keep the encouragement coming in the challenging weeks and months ahead. He also offered words of advice to his underclassmen.
“You have everything that you need to succeed here at MSUCOM,” he said. “You’ll gain a unique skill set and outlook that it’s hard to rival. Find the balance, ask for help, reach out to others you think need help and focus on the here and now,” Silva said.
Prior to the ceremony, students participated in a two-day orientation, which included a picnic, small group interactions with members of the Class of 2019 and a full slate of informational presentations about everything from academic guidance to international electives. Students also visited their respective learning sites with welcomes by other college leaders, site-specific information and tours.