Ross University Blog

RUSM White Coat Ceremony Turns Medical Students into Physicians-in-Training

May 28, 2015

Sommerhalder and Veatch, RUSM alumni

Students in the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Class of 2019 took their first steps toward earning their medical degrees when donned their white coats at on May 15 in the ceremonial White Coat Ceremony, a regular rite of passage among many medical school students. And institutional leadership had some inspiring words to get them started.

“You are a superb group,” Dean and Chancellor Joseph Flaherty, MD, told the group. “You’re in a special place, and we know you are going to succeed.”

What’s the White Coat Ceremony and why is it so significant?

“Sixteen years ago, I attended a White Coat Ceremony. I was in the same seat as all of you,” said RUSM alumnus Nikhil K. Bhayani, MD, a 2003 graduate and guest speaker at the ceremony. “As we don these white coats, they symbolize our commitment to the medical profession.” Dr. Bhayani said. “Wear them with pride.”

Born in Roanoke, Virginia, Dr. Bhayani completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, earning a B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry. After graduating from RUSM, he went on to complete an internal medicine residency at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center (2006) and an infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Illinois, Chicago (2008). He is board certified in internal medicine as well as infectious diseases and serves on key committees at hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Dr. Bhayani serves as chair of the Department of Adult Medicine at Texas Health Resources Arlington Memorial Hospital.

Kyle Zakkar, Student Government Association President, also chimed in: "We are all here to share the same dream—the dream of becoming a great physician."

The ceremony was attended by the Acting Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica Dr. Collin McIntyre, and the President of Dominica His Excellency Mr. Charles Savarin, as well as other government dignitaries.

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