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August 11, 2009

Newest SIU Medical Students Begin Training

Medical students in the Class of 2013 at Southern Illinois University start their medical training this Friday in Carbondale.  The students will participate in a “white coat ceremony” beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, August 14, in Shryock Auditorium.

During the ceremony, the students will be welcomed by Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, dean and provost and a 1978 graduate of the School, and Samuel Goldman, Ph.D., SIUC chancellor. They will receive their first white coat from the president of the School’s Alumni Society, Dr. Doug Carlson, a pediatrician at Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital and a 1984 graduate, and Dr. Wesley Robinson-McNeese, associate professor of internal medicine and medical humanities, executive assistant to the dean for diversity and a 1986 graduate. 

The keynote will be given by Dr. Gary Dunnington, professor and chair of SIU’s surgery department.  He is the recipient of the School’s 2008 Humanism in Medicine Award.
The students also receive a pin made up of the words “Compassion, Respect and Integrity” from the SIU Foundation.  Most of the students are from the southern two-thirds of the state, says Dr. Erik J. Constance, associate professor of internal medicine, associate dean of student affairs and a 1988 graduate.  Of the 72 new students, there are 39 males and 33 females.

The White Coat ceremony is designed to establish a “psychological contract for professionalism and empathy” in medicine and is held at most U.S. medical schools each fall.

SIU School of Medicine is based in Carbondale and Springfield and is specifically oriented to educating new physicians prepared to practice in Illinois communities.

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