SUNY Downstate’s College of Medicine to Hold White Coat Ceremony August 7

Aug 4, 2014

Brooklyn, NY – SUNY Downstate Medical Center will hold its 20th Annual White Coat Ceremony welcoming incoming medical students Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm in the Alumni Auditorium, 395 Lenox Road, in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. At this year’s event, 188 students newly enrolled in SUNY Downstate’s College of Medicine will receive white coats, similar to the longer coats physicians wear, a symbol of caring for patients. The class will graduate in 2018.

Hassan Tetteh, MD, MPA, MBA, a 1998 graduate of Downstate’s College of Medicine, will deliver the keynote remarks. Born in Brooklyn, Dr. Tetteh is a surgeon specializing in thoracic surgery, critical care, heart and lung transplantation, research, and education. He holds an academic appointment as an assistant professor of surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

A commander in the United States Navy, Dr. Tetteh served as ship’s surgeon and director of surgical services for the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) battle group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and was deployed as a trauma surgeon to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Forces in 2011. He previously served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, assigned to the U.S. Congress, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and served as assistant deputy commander for healthcare operations and strategic planning at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Dr. Tetteh is author of the novel, Gifts of the Heart.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation founded the White Coat Ceremony at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1993. According to the Foundation, the White Coat Ceremony is designed to mark a student's entrance into medical school and is now a standard ritual in most medical schools across the country. During the Ceremony, each medical student is presented and "robed" with his or her short white laboratory coat, formalizing and welcoming the student's entrance into the study of medicine.

This year’s incoming class at Downstate’s College of Medicine includes 167 students from New York State (89%); 101 from New York City’s five boroughs (54%); and 34 from Brooklyn (18%). In addition, 24 (13%) are from SUNY colleges and 35 (18%) are from CUNY campuses. Students range in age from 20 to 45; 100 (53%) are male and 88 (47%) are female.

The White Coat Ceremony at Downstate is supported by the SUNY Downstate College of Medicine Alumni Association. As part of the ceremony, the Gold Foundation is providing the medical students with Humanism in Medicine lapel pins to remind them of their commitment to patient care.


About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.