More than 400 HSC students to participate in Aug. 20 White Coat Ceremony

By Diane Smith-Pinckney

Students wearing white coat with backs turned

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) will present white coats to more than 400 students during a rite of passage ceremony for future health care providers at Will Rogers Memorial Center Auditorium on Aug. 20 at 9 a.m.  

Students from the Physician Assistant Studies program, Department of Physical Therapy, System College of Pharmacy, and Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) will receive coats during the 2021 White Coat Ceremony. 

“Our White Coat Ceremony is a time-honored tradition at HSC signifying the beginning of our new students’ journeys to their health care professions,” said Dr. Charles Taylor, Provost and Executive Vice President at HSC. “It is representative of the extraordinarily high levels of professionalism and empathy that will be required of them throughout their career. For families and friends, it is an opportunity to be proud and serves as a reminder that their loved one is engaging in an incredibly challenging rite of passage to have the privilege of serving others.”  

Provost Taylor will welcome students at this year’s in-person event, which will include student speakers and presentation of white coats. 

President Michael R. Williams will present the 2021 Mary E. Luibel Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Albert H. Olivencia-Yurvati. This award, established in 1993, honors an individual who has shown exceptional personal commitment and long-standing dedication to the advancement of the osteopathic profession. 

Dr. Yurvati, a 1986 graduate of TCOM and retired cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, is credited with creating a legacy within TCOM and the field of osteopathic medicine that will influence future generations of osteopathic doctors.  

A citation accompanying the award states that Dr. Yurvati is being honored for a number of reasons, including “for his selfless service which exemplifies the principle that service to others is life’s highest calling.” 

The White Coat Ceremony encourages students to fulfill a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy as future health care providers. After students receive their white coats, each program takes a professional oath.

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