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  • SCU hosts White Coat Ceremony for Doctor of Chiropractic students
DC Students recite the Clinical Clerkship Oath during their White Coat Ceremony

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

WHITTIER, CA. – (May 26, 2022) — Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) recognized 55 Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) students this evening with a white coat ceremony held 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 live-streamed virtual ceremony is 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.”  

Dr. Jacqueline Beres, DC, Assistant Dean of Clinical Education, Director of the Spine Care Department, and Acting Dean for the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, 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 SCU DC program has a variable number of students starting each term, ranging from 20-150 students. SCU is continuing several traditions, such as training students with strong ties to Southern California and across the state, and from diverse backgrounds and ages. Unique statistics about the students recognized in today’s ceremony include:   

Doctor of Chiropractic white coat ceremony students:

  • 53 of the 55 students are California residents
  • 2 students are from outside of California, with one student from New Jersey and one student from Pennsylvania
  • Age range from early 20’s to late 40’s, with an average age of 30
  • 19 women; 36 men

The keynote speaker was Dr. Joseph Horrigan, DC, DACBSP, Associate Professor, and Executive Director, Tactical Sports Medicine. “Today has special meaning for you,” he said to the DC students. Dr. Horrigan continued, “you may remember in Differential Diagnosis, I asked that when you look in the mirror each day that you no longer see a student and that you see a doctor instead. The reason is you were in transition then. A doctor has different responsibilities than a student. A student sees skills as tasks that must be mastered. A doctor sees people as patients and sees the need to evaluate them.  The white coat is symbolic of a transition to your clinical duties and a commitment to care.”

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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