California School of Podiatric Medicine Celebrates White Coat Tradition

Samuel Merritt University

California School of Podiatric Medicine Celebrates White Coat Tradition

Media Relations Contact:
Elizabeth Valente   510.725.7980
March 24, 2009

Oakland, Calif. (March 24, 2009) - On March 13, 2009 the California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM), Samuel Merritt University (SMU), held its thirteenth annual White Coat Ceremony for the class of 2012.

Thirty nine first-year podiatry students in the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) program gathered at the Health Education Center on the Oakland Campus. In the presence of families, guests, faculty members and CSPM leaders the students formally received the symbolic white coat.

"In 1996 CSPM established the White Coat Ceremony to promote the importance of humanism in podiatric medicine, and to inspire teamwork in medicine," said Irma Walker-Adame, Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs in the Department of Medicine, CSPM. "The ceremony also signifies the transition from a basic science oriented classroom setting to the clinical arena of patient-centered learning."

The event was an opportunity for faculty and mentors to welcome the class into a wider circle of colleagues, and enabled the students to recognize significant individuals who have provided them with support throughout their education.

"This year's White Coat Ceremony gave our class the opportunity to thank our families and faculty for all the support and guidance they have given to lead us to this remarkable point in our lives," said Mark Razzante, first-year podiatric student. "The ceremony not only signified the transition of classroom to clinical education, but it provided a moment where our class exhibited unity and maturity."

The keynote address was delivered by Drs. Arnold Gold and Sandra Gold, the co-founders of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a public organization dedicated to fostering humanism in medicine. The White Coat Ceremony was originated in 1993 at Columbia University by Dr. Arnold Gold.

"It was one of the highlights of the evening," said Dean Walker-Adame. "They spoke about the importance of our podiatric medicine program, and educating our students about promoting compassionate and excellent medical care to the community."

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation provided CSPM with a grant that funded the cost of the ceremony.

Samuel Merritt University has committed itself to a mission of excellence and educating students to become highly skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals who positively transform the experience of care in diverse communities. The University offers an undergraduate degree in nursing; master's degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in physical therapy and podiatric medicine. For more information visit

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