USA medical students receive white coats

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 4:23 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A big step for the University of South Alabama’s College of Medicine. 74 future doctors received their white coats Thursday night.

Walking into the Mitchell Center -- the medical class of 2024 is one step closer to becoming real doctors.

“This kinda means we are actually almost doctors now... We are over the halfway point. So I think it kind of signals we are not just learning about stuff we are actually going to be practicing medicine very soon,” said Jordan Ingram, USA Medical Student -- Class of 2024.

Like so many other things — the pandemic produced unprecedented challenges to get to white coat status.

“This is really their first big ceremony. And it really marks the transition between their pre-clinical years and and full clinical emersion. So it really is a big deal -- this is what they’ve come to medical school to do,” said Dr. Kelly Roveda, USA School of Medicine.

“We did our first year completely online -- and so that was really interesting to see how that was going to go. Online anatomy labs -- online everything. It’s the culmination of two years of hard work -- around here -- you have to earn this thing,” said Carey Johnson.

Class President Carey Johnson is receiving his white coat from his wife Dr. Angela Mosley-Johnson — who he coated a couple of years ago. Both joke they feel like they’ve been through medical school twice.

“Super proud -- super super proud -- it’s truly a blessing to be on this side of it. And we met before I was in medical school so to be on this side of it and giving him his coat it’s truly a blessing,” Dr. Angela Mosely-Johnson.

Now looking the part — they start clinicals next week working in hospitals with real patients -- applying what they know in a whole new way.

“Exciting and terrifying at the same time. Because I think it means it’s not something I’ve been dreaming of since I was five years old -- I really am going to have a lot of responsibility starting next week,” said Ingram.

“I think actually getting to talk with patients -- and really understand and figure out how to help them,” said Carey Johnson.

A lot of the students — had family members donning their white coats — which is something that came out of COVID — and a perk that has continued.

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