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Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Officially Welcomes Class of 2017

White Coat Ceremony
CMSRU Advisory College Director Richard L. Fischer, MD, presents a white coat to Mitra Daneshvar, a member of CMSRU's Class of 2017, during the school's White Coat Ceremony.

The 64 medical students who make up Cooper Medical School of Rowan University's (CMSRU) Class of 2017 donned their crisp, personalized white coats for the very first time at a special "White Coat Ceremony" today in Camden, NJ.

The event, held in the presence of more than 350 family members, friends and faculty, also included a recitation of the Hippocratic Oath, a symbolic welcome into the profession of medicine and an affirmation of the Class of 2017's commitment to the highest standards of ethics and patient care. The standing-room-only crowd of parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents and friends traveled from all over the United States to witness this special milestone.

Paul Katz, MD, Dean of CMSRU, noted that while there will be many transitions during the journey to become medical a doctor, none will be quite as symbolic or publicly visible as the White Coat Ceremony. "The white coat identifies the medical student as a healer, a part of the vast and complex healthcare system in our country," he said. "While they have much to learn on their journeys to truly becoming healers, donning the white coat marks the first steps on that journey."

George E. Thibault, MD, president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, was the keynote speaker at CMSRU's White Coat Ceremony. The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation is the only national foundation solely dedicated to improving the education of health professionals. Dr. Thibault, a distinguished physician and educator, speaks widely on the need for innovation in health professional education and the importance of aligning academic medicine with contemporary health needs and a changing health care system in the United States.

Thirty-five women and 29 men, ranging in age from 22 to 36 years old, comprise CMSRU's Class of 2017, bringing total enrollment at the school to 114. They were selected from nearly 4000 applicants, topping the 2900 applications received the previous year for admission into CMSRU's charter class. The students hail from 12 different states, with more than half from New Jersey. They bring with them a wealth of diverse life experiences and backgrounds in fields such as academia, research, military, performing arts, and missionary work, but all share the drive to become successful physicians and the passion to affect change in their communities.

More than half of the CMSRU Class of 2017 resides in the City of Camden, exemplifying CMSRU's mission to positively impact the city it calls home. The students are rapidly embracing opportunities to serve the community, including participating in activities like coaching youth soccer, serving meals to the homeless, and mentoring young Camden students.

CMSRU was established in June 2009 through a partnership between Rowan University and The Cooper Health System and is located in Camden, NJ. The first new medical school in New Jersey in over 35 years, CMSRU will help address the physician shortage locally and nationally, and improve healthcare throughout the region. With its innovative curriculum, state-of-the-art facility and commitment to serving the community, CMSRU will provide a comprehensive, progressive medical education for physicians of tomorrow.

CMSRU received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in June 2011.