For the 16th year, medical students comprising the newest class at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) will make a pledge to commit to a life of health care service during the annual Convocation and White Coat Ceremony.
The ceremony, which begins at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 23 on the WVSOM parade field, is the first opportunity for students in the Class of 2018 to be presented as student doctors. The white coat symbolizes their dedication to medicine and a life of service to others.
This year’s keynote speaker is Andrew Naymick, D.O., FACOOG, a 1988 graduate of the school.
Dr. Naymick said that the ceremony marks a time when medical students make commitments.
“I want to explain to the students that their medical school experience is going to be like a marriage,” he said. “It’s going to be a commitment that’s going to affect their lives forever. It’s a commitment that they can’t back out of and requires dedication and sacrifice.”
Although there was no official White Coat Ceremony when Naymick attended school he knows the importance that article of clothing represents.
“To me the white coat symbolizes student commitments to the patients they will see in the future. WVSOM gives physicians the foundation to help patients cope with not only physical illnesses but also the emotion behind their illnesses,” he said.
Naymick practices obstetrics and gynecology at Hanover Hospital in Hanover, Pa. He has chaired the hospital’s Department of Obstetrics since 2011. A member of the WVSOM Alumni Association Board, he is also a one-third partner/owner of Mountain View OB-GYN, Ltd., an independent practice dedicated to women’s health, nutrition and well-being.
The Convocation and White Coat Ceremony is part of WVSOM’s Alumni Weekend where graduates return to campus for continuing medical education and other class events including a reunion dinner and golf tournament. Some physicians assist in the convocation ceremony by presenting white coats to students.