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At Philadelphia Medical Schools, Students Get Their Ceremonial White Lab Coats

(Temple faculty members help new medical students into their traditional white lab coats.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Temple faculty members help new medical students into their traditional white lab coats. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is a ritual of summer:  the annual ceremony in which incoming medical school students don their white coats for the first time.

It was happening today at Penn and Drexel and Temple universities.

More than 200 incoming medical students filed into the Temple Performing Arts Center, white coats over their arms.  The Class of 2016 heard from Dr. David Hartman, Class of ’76, an author and psychiatrist who has been blind since the age of eight.

“So often we get focused on the disease,” he said.  “We think of the impairment, the pathology.  And I encourage you to look at your patients’ strengths.  What can they do to overcome the disability?”

Medical student Lee Baumgarten, from Grosse Point, Mich., would like to become a primary care physician, possibly in the Philadelphia area.

“In my four years here, I’d really like to get to know some community members and work with them to improve their community,” he told KYW Newsradio.

But first, he and his classmates put on their white coats to begin their medical journeys.

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