WEST DES MOINES, IOWA (September 28, 2023) — On September 15, 431 Des Moines University students in five clinical programs accepted their white coats and the responsibilities that attire represents in the university's White Coat Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines. Across the country, the White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for students as they begin their medical education and prepare to become compassionate, competent health-care providers. Participating in DMU's ceremony were 149 students in the College of Health Sciences' Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Doctor of Occupational Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy programs; 56 students in the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery's Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program; and 226 students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine's Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program.

The following local students were among those receiving white coats:

Daniel Benoit, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Port Byron, IL

Andrew Boldt, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Davenport, IA

Grace Erpelding, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bettendorf, IA

Jenessa Carpenter, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Muscatine, IA

Alena Shoemaker, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Bettendorf, IA

"As you don the white coat today, you assume not only the responsibilities but also the obligations that attend to those who choose to provide care to other human beings," DMU President and CEO Angela L Walker Franklin PhD, told the students. "These obligations include to be honorable in all phases of your life, to excel in your academic studies and training, to be compassionate, to be accountable, to collaborate with others as an interprofessional team member, and to support a culture of inclusiveness."

The ceremony concluded with the students' recital of the White Coat Ceremony Student Oath, in which they pledged to focus their efforts on "the ultimate goal of serving my future patients." The students' white coats were provided by an endowed fund established by DMU graduates Maurice Schwartz DO, Class of 1933, and Elliott Schwartz DO, Class of 1973, as well as by donations from other alumni and friends.

Located in West Des Moines, part of Iowa's capital metro, Des Moines University offers ten graduate-level professional-degree programs in anatomy, biomedical sciences, health-care administration, occupational therapy, osteopathic medicine, physical therapy, physician-assistant studies, podiatric medicine, and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' scores on national examinations, pass rates on board certifications, and match rates for medical residency programs are consistently higher than national averages and rates at peer institutions.

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