Students Celebrate Next Step
and Don White Coats
With parents, spouses, siblings, friends, mentors and peers proudly looking on, 70 University of Missouri students began the next phase of their veterinary medicine education Oct. 14. The seventh annual White Coat Ceremony represented the transition in the students’ education from a demanding basic sciences curriculum to the start of clinical training.
Members of the Class of 2009 received their white laboratory coats from a family member or mentor whom they selected to participate in the ceremony. Hundreds of other well-wishers gathered at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia for the presentation.
“We have chosen the traditional white laboratory coat to present to you at this time as a symbol of medicine and surgery,” noted Dr. Ron Cott, associate dean for student and alumni affairs, who served as master of ceremonies.
After the students received their coats, they were congratulated by Dr. Neil Olson, CVM dean; Dr. John Dodam, associate dean for academic affairs; Dr. Clark Fobian of the American Veterinary Medical Association; and Dr. Michael Pfander, president of Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, and Richard Antweiler, MVMA executive director, who also presented the students with veterinary lapel pins from the MVMA.
“It should be comforting to know that you are over half-way there,” Dean Olson told the Class of 2009. He noted that much of their additional veterinary medicine education will take place in Clydesdale Hall, which houses the CVM teaching hospital. There they will receive hands-on training in common and complex diseases among numerous species. He cautioned the students to nurture their people skills as they learn to care for animals, noting, “Both the veterinary profession and the MU CVM are in the midst of a rapidly changing environment with respect to how veterinarians serve society. There is a growing public recognition regarding the critical role veterinarians play in the public arena, such as public health, food safety, biomedical research, comparative medicine and academic veterinary medicine.”
He concluded by telling the class he looks forward to greeting them on the podium at Jesse Hall in May 2009. “I congratulate you in reaching this milestone.”
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