August 12 The White Coat Ceremony
Every August, first-year Einstein medical students take part in the White Coat Ceremony, also known as “On Becoming a Physician.” An Einstein alumnus “cloaks” each student in a physician’s white coat provided by the Einstein Alumni Association. The white coat symbolizes the responsibilities that await the future physicians—and the humanistic values and scientific excellence that will serve as guiding principles.
At the 2015 ceremony, Joshua D. Nosanchuk, M.D., assistant dean for student affairs, welcomed the assembled Class of 2019, faculty and guests. Stephen G. Baum, M.D., senior associate dean for students, introduced Judy L. Aschner, M.D., the keynote speaker, who shared an inspirational anecdote from her days as a pediatric resident to illustrate the rewards and challenges ahead for the newest class of Einstein students. Dr. Aschner is a professor and the Michael I. Cohen, M.D., University Chair of Pediatrics at Einstein and physician-in-chief and chair of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.
Janina R. Galler, M.D. ’72, president of the Einstein Alumni Association board of governors, and Allison B. Ludwig, M.D. ’04, assistant dean for student affairs, also offered their insights.
September 16 The Stethoscope Ceremony
At this annual rite of passage, first-year Einstein medical students each receive a special gift from the Einstein Alumni Association: a stethoscope. This critical diagnostic tool is a reminder that it’s important to listen to patients. The keynote speakers at the 2015 Stethoscope Ceremony were Evelyne Albrecht Schwaber, M.D. ’59, recipient of the 2012 Dominick P. Purpura Distinguished Alumnus/a Award and an internationally renowned authority on clinical listening, and Martin N. Cohen, M.D., a professor of medicine (cardiology) at Einstein and an attending physician at Montefiore. The Class of 2019 also heard from Felise B. Milan, M.D. ’88, director of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) program; Martha S. Grayson, M.D. ’79, senior associate dean for medical education; Mimi McEvoy, N.P., M.A., co-director of the ICM program; and Janina Galler, M.D. ’72.
September 30 Scrubs Day
Each year, the Einstein Alumni Association ensures that every first-year medical student starts the Gross Anatomy course with a brand-new set of scrubs. Scrubs Day for the Class of 2019 featured remarks by Todd R. Olson, Ph.D., professor emeritus of anatomy and structural biology, and Harris Goldstein, M.D. ’80, associate dean for scientific resources, the Charles Michael Chair in Autoimmune Diseases, professor of pediatrics (allergy and immunology) and director of the Einstein Montefiore Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Goldstein started this Einstein tradition several years ago. Other speakers were Raja Flores, M.D. ’92, professor and chair of thoracic surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, representing the Einstein Alumni Association board; Janina Galler, M.D. ’72; and Sherry A. Downie, Ph.D., a professor of clinical anatomy and structural biology and of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation at Einstein.
October 19 The Declaration Celebration
The Declaration Celebration marks the transition of second-year Ph.D. and third-year M.D./Ph.D. students from graduate school coursework to their own work as laboratory researchers.
“Choosing the laboratory that best fits your interests and temperament is critical to your career path,” said Victoria H. Freedman, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate programs in the biomedical sciences, at this year’s fifth annual event. “There will be ebullience at an exciting result and despair when things aren’t going your way. The support of your mentor and lab colleagues will steer you through the difficult days.”
Libusha Kelly, Ph.D., assistant professor of systems & computational biology and of microbiology & immunology, encouraged students to look to their mentors for advice, not answers. “Always keep an elevator pitch ready,” she added. “Communicating your work in a concise and compelling manner is a skill that all scientists should develop.”
The young investigators each received backpacks containing a coffee mug and other items, including The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize by Peter Doherty.