White Coat Ceremony

I can hardly believe that a week has gone by since we visited our daughter Joelle over the Labor Day weekend to witness The Johns Hopkins White Coat Ceremony. The White Coat Ceremony is practiced by approximately 100 medical schools in the US, recognizing students’ achievements in graduate studies, successful completion of their Doctoral Board Examinations and marking their new path as the clinician and researcher.

white coat ceremony

White coat ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony – why The White Laboratory Coat?

The white laboratory coat is an international symbol of the biomedical community. A century ago the medical profession shifted dramatically (as we are seeing, NOW another shift in the medical profession) and physicians were expected to conduct both research and science. The white coat was adopted symbolically to reinforce the notion of “cleanliness and professionalism.” At the heart of the White Coat Ceremony is the recitation of the student oath, a pledge to uphold the same values of integrity, professionalism, and scholarship that inspired the white coat 100 years ago.

white coat ceremony

white coat ceremony

White Coat Ceremony marks the transition to a Ph.D. Candidate

Joelle’s  curiosity and determination will guide her into uncharted areas as she pushes forward with her thesis as a Ph.D. Candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. The research uses microscopy and she speaks a scientific language I barely understand. Fortunately, Joelle is also a medical writer for the “Johns Hopkins Medicine Biomedical Odyssey” and adheres to the importance of her oath: To acknowledge my role as an ambassador of science to the public.” She recently authored an article that discusses this issue of how to explain science and her work.

“Science is a complex language. It has its own vocabulary and corresponding slang, both of which take time to learn and understand. In the lab we speak this language as fluidly and comfortably as if we were raised with it as our native tongue. For some students with parents who work in science, this may very well be the case too. However, I grew up in a family of artists. The science they recall is what they learned in school or read in novels. When I check in and they ask how work is, I often hesitate. How do I explain how my experiment went or the progress of my thesis project to someone who doesn’t speak this language? I can tell they are truly interested, but the words “neuron” and “confocal microscopy” don’t give them a true mental image of a day in my life.”

To read more: “Mystery behind the Jargon” – Joelle Dorskind, 08/03/2017 (https://biomedicalodyssey.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org/2017/08/the-mystery-behind-the-jargon/)

Join me in congratulating Joelle. 

white coat ceremony


















Cheryl Machat Dorskind teaches photography and Mentors people of all ages.

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Contact me (cheryl@cherylmachatdorskind.com) if you want to talk about photography, a mentoring program for yourself or your child. Photography is a terrific medium to combine the learning of Science and Technology while encouraging communication and self-expression.

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