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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

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 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 or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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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