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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

F. Dennis Dawgert, MD delivers The Dr. Lester Saidman Memorial Lecture

Two Marine Corps veterans, a VISTA volunteer; a rescue ranger; 30 students with graduate degrees and 20 students who are the first member of their family to go to college and other accomplished future doctors received the first symbol of their new profession as Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) held its 11th annual White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2023 on Friday, Aug. 2 at the St. Robert Bellarmine Theater at Scranton Preparatory School.

The Class of 2023’s 115 future doctors participated in a ceremony, held in common with virtually every other medical school in the nation, designed to welcome new medical students into the profession. Students recited an oath acknowledging their responsibilities as future physicians and their obligations to future patients. Then they were cloaked with the white coat -- the mantle of the medical profession. White coats were provided by The Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, and Alan G. Goldstein Endowed Fund.

At the ceremony, GCSOM’s president and dean, Steven J. Scheinman, MD, reminded the students that despite the pace of change and the wonders of new technology, “What needs to remain constant through, or even despite, all of this is your relationship with the patient. Many things in our brave new world of modern medicine conspire to separate you from them . . . this is where oaths come in.” Dr. Scheinman urged the Class of 2023 to return to their White Coat ceremony oath throughout their education and their careers as a means to keep “your relationship with the patient central to your identity as a physician.”

F. Dennis Dawgert, MD presented the Dr. Lester Saidman Memorial Lecture, named in honor of the well-respected physician and educator from Luzerne County. Dr. Dawgert is a professor of pediatrics at GCSOM. He has been instrumental in educating Geisinger Commonwealth students and the community about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their long-term connection to and influence upon many common and chronic health problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure and addiction, that hamper quality of life and shorten life expectancy. ACEs are also linked to increases in learning disabilities, incarceration and other psychosocial issues.

A reception immediately followed in the lobby of GCSOM's Medical Sciences Building, 525 Pine Street, Scranton.

About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is a member of the Geisinger family. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Lewistown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a portfolio of graduate degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit www.geisinger.edu/gcsom.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

 
GCSOM White Coat Ceremony MD Class of 2023
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
On Call: 570-687-9703
ezygmunt@som.geisinger.edu
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