Brittney Ehrlich of Sinking Spring receives white coat at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine ceremony

Brittney Ehrlich

Brittney Ehrlich of Sinking Spring and other first-year doctors of medicine students received the first symbol of their new profession as Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine held its ninth annual White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2021 Friday, Aug. 4, in Scranton.

At the ceremony, Geisinger Commonwealth’s dean, Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., told the students, “Some doctors succumb to the temptation to think of their white coat as a shield, or a barrier, or a status symbol . . . You won’t be one of those doctors. You will come to see this white coat not as a symbol of status, but as a reminder that your role is one of service: to the community, and to your patients.”

Retired cardiologist, Gerald Tracy, M.D., a founder of Geisinger Commonwealth and a professor of medicine on its faculty, presented the Dr. Lester Saidman Memorial Lecture, named in honor of the well-respected physician and educator from Luzerne County.

The Class of 2021’s 113 future doctors participated in a ceremony, held in common with virtually every other medical in the nation, designed to welcome new medical students into the profession. Students recited an oath acknowledging their responsibilities as future physicians and their obligations to future patients. Then they were cloaked with the white coat — the mantle of the medical profession – by a member of Geisinger Commonwealth’s faculty. White coats are provided by The Stanley J. Dudrick, M.D., and Alan G. Goldstein Endowed Fund.

A reception immediately followed in the lobby of Geisinger Commonwealth’s Medical Sciences Building, 525 Pine Street, Scranton.

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