WHITTIER, CA – (Sept. 22, 2022) — Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) recognized 100 Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) students and 22 Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) students today with a white coat ceremony held outdoors, on the SCU campus in Whittier. The ceremony transitions students from the academic portion of the program into supervised clinical practice, symbolizing their entrance into the healthcare field.
The White Coat Ceremony is considered a rite of passage for health sciences students and is designed to instill the values of professionalism, humanism and compassionate care with students reciting the Oath of Professionalism.
“The white coat symbolizes the caring, commitment, trust and respect associated with the healthcare profession. The White Coat Ceremony marks the beginning of our students’ intensive journey to becoming doctors of chiropractic and doctors of acupuncture and Chinese medicine,” said SCU President John Scaringe, DC, EdD. “Our faculty, staff and our healthcare partners are committed to supporting the success of these students. It is our hope that today’s ceremony will be remembered by our students each and every time they see a patient, five, 10 or even 50 years from today and with every act of care to the patients who trust them.”
The SCU DC program has a variable number of students starting each term, ranging from 20-150 students.
SCU Los Angeles College of Chiropractic Dean Ana Facchinato, DC, MHS, spoke of the importance of balancing professionalism with humanism and compassion, equally, to guide difficult decisions in the delivery of patient care to fellow human beings. “Wearing the white coat symbolically joins the students together with their faculty, and to all in the health care field who wear the coat as an external symbol of the trust placed in them by their patients and society,” she said.
The DC program prepares graduates to sit for the National Boards of Chiropractic Exams and licensure exams for each state. For more information about the Doctor of Chiropractic program, visit the SCU DC program page.
The 22 Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine program students who were recognized today will graduate as the Class of 2025. The SCU DACM program size varies from 15 to 25 students in each class.
SCU Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Program Dean Jenny Yu, DACM, L.Ac., encouraged students upon their major milestone toward becoming future physicians at a time when the world needs them now, more than ever. “Our field is growing – and more and more in demand by patients. Acupuncture is patient-driven, as it’s another option beyond pharmaceuticals or surgeries. Treatments extend well-beyond pain, from sleep disorders, depression, infertility. You’re the future of healthcare, trained in the power of integrative, whole-person healthcare.”
The DACM program prepares graduates to be eligible for the California state licensure exam (CALE) as well as the National Certification Commission For Acupuncture And Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), to become licensed in the U.S. For more information about the Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine program, visit the SCU DACM program page.
The keynote speaker was Melissa Nagare, DC, L.Ac, CCSP®, Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer, SCU Health.
Dr. Nagare provided students with a history of the traditional white coat, addressing patient perception, to pathogens, to mitigating germ concern; while reinforcing how SCU is committed to transforming and redefining health and healthcare education and the importance of a whole-person approach. She wove in numerous important points for students on healthcare equity, integrative healthcare, empathy and compassion.
“Let your white coats serve as a symbol and regular reminder of the positive things it stands for: knowledge, trust, truth, cleanliness, and caring,” said Dr. Nagare. Her speech encouraged students to “listen to your patients and treat them as whole people, understanding and acknowledging they are more than just a set of symptoms. You may have seen the problem they are having several times now, and your supervising doctor may have seen the problem thousands of times now, but for this person, it is their first time in the situation, and they are counting on you act like it is their first time and to help them. If you approach care in this manner – seeing the person as a whole, honoring their knowledge and perspectives and right to optimal health, showing empathy, and getting the person to the right provider at the right time – whether your professional appearance consists of neat scrubs, an SCU polo and slacks, business attire, with or without a white coat, you will be doing right by your patients and transforming healthcare one patient at a time.”
SCU, Southern California’s first and only chiropractic school, has educated more than 18,000 healthcare providers since it was founded in 1911.