The White Coat Ceremony:
WAUSM Celebrates Sixth White Coat Ceremony
Western Atlantic University School of Medicine’s (WAUSM) sixth cohort was welcomed to medical school by WAUSM and Bahamian leadership at a distinctive White Coat Ceremony at the Grand Lucayan in Freeport on September 9, 2023.
Of this diverse class hailing from the US, Canada, and The Bahamas, 37% come from groups considered underrepresented in medicine; 33 have worked as healthcare professionals before coming to WAUSM; and many have made an impact by volunteering with organizations such as the Red Cross and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, as well as psychiatry wards and children’s hospitals.
In her delivery of the keynote address, Dr. Phillipa Davis, said, “You will be well on your way to becoming physicians. Giving the best of yourselves for the benefit of others. Physicians truly flying in formation.”
As she welcomed the students to the medical profession, Dr. Paula Wales, Founding Executive Dean and Chief Academic Officer, said, “What’s so exciting about this particular White Coat ceremony is that during this semester, our students begin clerkships, so this is a historic time for WAUSM and I’m so glad to be celebrating this day with you. We celebrate your diversity and the fact that you are one step closer to the physicians you are meant to be.”
With a worldwide shortage of MDs specifically in the US, Canada, and The Bahamas, WAUSM is the culmination of a dream its leadership team – which is comprised of elite academicians and administrators hailing from prominent US and Caribbean medical institutions – had to create a world class medical school that is well positioned to train outstanding, patient-centered physicians.
“This is the dream of a lifetime,” said Dr. Joseph Flaherty, President and Chief Medical Officer. “Medical school is hard. I like to quote President Kennedy from 1961 where he announced that by the end of the decade the US would have a man on the moon, and the critics said that’s ridiculous. He said, ‘We don’t go to the moon because it’s easy. We go to it because it’s hard.’ That’s where the real recognition comes from. We are here to help you on this journey. We wish you well and Godspeed.”