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John Farrell, MD, delivers The Dr. Lester Saidman Memorial Lecture

A forensic accountant with the FBI; a Buenos Aires tour guide; an actor; a stagehand; 24 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 12th annual White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2025 on Saturday, Aug. 7 at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain.

The Class of 2025’s 115 future doctors participated in a ceremony, held in virtually every other medical school in the nation, designed to welcome new medical students into the profession. Students were cloaked with the white coat – the mantle of the medical profession. They then recited an oath acknowledging their responsibilities as future physicians and their obligations to future patients. White coats were provided by The Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, FACS 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 2025 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.”

John Farrell, MD, presented The Dr. Lester Saidman Memorial Lecture, named in honor of the well-respected physician and educator from Luzerne County. Dr. Farrell is an associate in radiology in Geisinger’s northeast region. He specializes in breast imaging and breast interventional procedures. He is an assistant professor of radiology at GCSOM and the assistant chair of radiology in the Diagnostic Medicine Institute at Geisinger. He was the recipient of the school’s North Campus Professor of the Year Award for the 2015–2016 and 2017–2018 academic years. In 2021, he was the recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award as well as the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

GCSOM MD Class of 2025 White Coat Ceremony
Rianna Haniff, of Pembroke Pines, Fl., receives her white coat at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine's MD Class of 2025 White Coat Ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 7 at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain.
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
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