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  • Southern California University of Health Sciences hosts White Coat Ceremony for Doctor of Chiropractic and Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine students
A group photo of SCU students after receiving their white coats

Southern California University of Health Sciences hosts White Coat Ceremony for Doctor of Chiropractic and Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine students

WHITTIER, CA – (Jan. 18, 2022) Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) recognized 55 Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) students and 64 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.

Today marked the first in-person white coat ceremony, since prior to the pandemic. The live-streamed virtual ceremonies will be available for on-demand viewing on SCU’s YouTube channel

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.”  

Doctor of Chiropractic

The 55 Doctor of Chiropractic program students who were recognized today will begin their clinical rotations in the Spring 2022 term and will graduate in Fall 2022. A total of 144 DC students, some of which also participated in virtual ceremonies during the past two years, due to the pandemic, were invited to participate in this in-person ceremony. The Los Angeles College of Chiropractic hosts three White Coat ceremonies per year, in January, April and September.

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.

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

The 64 Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine program students who were recognized today will graduate as the Class of 2023 and 2024. The SCU DACM program size varies from 15 to 25 students in each class. Throughout 2020-2021, DACM student enrollment increased over 80%, compared to 2019.

DACM students come from a variety of majors: Letters, Arts and Sciences; Business; Biology, etc. There is one legacy student, whose mother attended a SCU program, several students who graduated from other SCU programs, and many whose parents are practicing in the acupuncture and Chinese medicine field.

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 medicine.”

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.

SCU is continuing several traditions, such as training students with strong ties to Southern California and across the state, and matriculating greater numbers of women in health sciences. Unique statistics about the students recognized in today’s ceremony include:   

Doctor of Chiropractic white coat ceremony students:

  • 89% of students are California residents
  • 11% of students are from outside of California
  • Age range from early 20’s to late 40’s, with an average age of 28
  • 56% female; 44% male
  • Students were selected from over 700 applicants to the DC program

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine white coat ceremony students:

  • Age from early 20’s to early 60’s, with an average age of 36
  • 80% female; 20% male
  • Students were selected from over 160 applicants to the DACM program


The keynote speaker was Michael Ramcharan, MD, DC, MPH, EdD Assistant Provost of Academic Initiatives.

 “SCU is among a handful of pioneers undertaking an evidence-based, integrative approach to interprofessional practice,” said Dr. Ramcharan in his address to students. “The White Coat is a rite of passage, and as students, you are bound by the same professional commitments that bind all providers. This ceremony joins the symbol of the white coat with the virtues of altruism, responsibility, duty, honor, and most of all caring. Now, clinical students, it is your turn to join the ranks of SCU’s long line of pioneering integrative providers and work alongside SCU faculty, staff, and administration to transform and redefine healthcare and healthcare education.”

 SCU, Southern California’s first and only chiropractic school, has educated more than 18,000 healthcare providers since it was founded in 1911.

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