College of Medicine hosts 26th Annual White Coat Ceremony

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Sep 17, 2021

The College of Medicine (COM) held its 26th Annual White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage that emphasizes the importance of honorable, honest, curious, and compassionate care as students begin their academic journeys. Jeffrey Putman, Ed.D., VP for Academic and Student Affairs, provided opening remarks at the live event to welcome more than 200 doctors-in training. Students were reminded that, as they progress through Downstate’s Medical Program, they are to embody the altruism, duty, and responsibility symbolized by the white coat.


I was honored to share my thoughts with students, underscoring the symbolism on the white coat. It is an emblem of the responsibilities that physicians bear, and of the critical role they play in society— and never more so than in challenging times like these. These physicians-to-be, with their medical backgrounds, will protect the health of our patients and ultimately safeguard the future of our nation.

Photo of Dr. Hassan Tetteh

The ceremony continued with F. Charles Brunicardi, M.D., FACS, SVP and Dean of the College of Medicine, who commended scholars for entering the field of medicine during one of the most trying and critical times in history. Dean Brunicardi also welcomed the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Hassan Tetteh, M.D., MBA, FACS, FACHE, U.S. Navy Captain and Associate Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and adjunct faculty member at Howard University College of Medicine. 

CONGRATULATIONS to our scholars who are moving into one of the most respected and important professions known to man—and welcome to Downstate! Many thanks to Dean Brunicardi and Dr. Putman for their leadership, as well as to all of our participating COM students, faculty, and staff for pulling together a meaningful and memorable live and virtual program.