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medical school students wearing masks
JABSOM Class of 2024 students participate in Orientation Week.

In this time of COVID-19 precautions and adjustments, the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) continues to prioritize its mission to produce quality physicians who are ready to serve Hawaiʻi and the world. JABSOM held its annual White Coat Ceremony through Zoom on Saturday, August 29. Rather than a traditional gathering in the JABSOM auditorium, the 77 MD students took part in the virtual ceremony at home with family.

A medical student’s first white coat represents an important step on the way to becoming a doctor. Referred to as a “cloak of compassion,” it is part of a ritual that impresses upon them the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship, to be excellent in science, compassionate, and to lead lives of uprightness and honor.

The students were reminded that as doctors, they should care, as well as cure. Their new coats will feature an embroidered emblem of the JABSOM logo that was commissioned by the JABSOM Alumni Association for the school’s 25th anniversary.

At the ceremony’s closing, the class members and the physicians present recited a modified version of the Hippocratic Oath.

Orientation week activities

During orientation week, the students were divided into small groups to pace through different activities, classrooms, lectures and labs to get to know the JABSOM facilities, their faculty, advisors and each other. Their portraits were taken, with IDs printed and laminated, and they were given an opportunity to give video shoutouts to family and friends who made it possible for them to get into medical school.

Faculty got creative and had the students spread out in the courtyard to be sorted into learning communities by the colors of the rainbow. They were sorted into groups of six to eight students with a teacher-medical doctor-advisor. Students and their advisors will journey through medical school together for the next four years.

Read more on the Class of 2024 on the JABSOM website.

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