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A SCU DC student receives her first white coat during the Spring 2023 DC White Coat Ceremony.

Southern California University of Health Sciences hosts White Coat Ceremony for Doctor of Chiropractic students

WHITTIER, CA – (Jan. 18, 2023)Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) recognized 45 Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) students today with a white coat ceremony at 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.

SCU DC students students reciting the Oath of Professionalism during the Spring 2023 White Coat Ceremony.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,” 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.”

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.

Joseph Horrigan, DC, DACBSP, Executive Director of Tactical Sports Medicine for SCU Health and Associate Professor for LACC gives the keynote address at the Spring 2023 DC White Coat Ceremony.The keynote speaker was Joseph Horrigan, DC, DACBSP, Executive Director of Tactical Sports Medicine for SCU Health and Associate Professor for LACC.

Dr. Horrigan discussed the history of the white coat, noting that up until the late 1800s, doctors wore black to demonstrate that healthcare was a solemn action, much like the clergy. By the early 1900s, white replaced the black clothing to demonstrate cleanliness, sanitation and to duplicate the ultimate sign of a scientist – a white lab coat. The White Coat Ceremony began in 1989 and it is now a worldwide occurrence to mark the transition from a student, to becoming a doctor.

Dr. Horrigan said that the white coat is a starting point, not an end point. “Students and doctors at SCU chose a slightly different path in healthcare,” he remarked. “The fact that we look at health differently, and look at the care of patients somewhat differently, is imbedded in who we are. We see the world differently as well – to everyone’s benefit.”

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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