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Office of Public Affairs

August 10, 2010

New SIU Medical Students Begin Training

Medical students in the Class of 2014 at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine start their medical training this week in Carbondale.  The students will participate in a “white coat ceremony” beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, August 13, 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, Glenn Poshard, Ph.D., SIU president, and Rita Cheng, Ph.D., SIUC chancellor.  

The medical students will be presented by Dr. Wesley Robinson-McNeese, associate professor of internal medicine and medical humanities, executive assistant to the dean for diversity and a 1986 graduate, and receive their first white coat from Dorsey.  The coats are provided by the School’s Alumni Society.  The students also receive a pin made up of the words “Compassion, Respect and Integrity” from the SIU Foundation.

The keynote will be given by Dr. Careyanna Brenham, assistant professor of family and community medicine.  She is the recipient of the School’s 2009 Humanism in Medicine Award.

Most of the students (81 percent) 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.  There are 39 males and 36 females in the class.

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.

Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine is this year celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding.  The School’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health needs through education, patient care, research and community service.    Its Web site is

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