EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s now been ten years since the first graduating class of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine received their white coats, signaling the beginning of an education in medicine.
Saturday, the Class of 2023 participated in the time-honored White Coat Ceremony. The 104 future doctors were cloaked by Dr. Richard Langue, M.D., president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and dean of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.
The White Coat Ceremony is a time-honored traditional rite of passage for entering medical students which began in 1993 by Arnold P. Gold and his foundation. The ceremony is designed to remind students of the humanism inherent in their chosen field.
Some area students say entering the world of medicine is more about giving back and taking care of the community who helped them grow into the people they are today.
“I did grow up in colonias, so whenever I’m able to graduate and actually serve this community, I’m really looking forward to it. that’s going to be a real big day,” Jose Luis Lopez, incoming Paul L. Foster School of Medicine student said.
At other medical schools, students may transition from the classroom to clinical care much later in their academic careers. However, the Foster School of Medicine is unique—in their very first year of studies, students serve in clinics and hospitals, learning the importance of compassionate patient care. The school is also noted for its Medical Spanish skills requirement, which helps prepare physicians for careers in El Paso and other underserved communities.