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

Aug 4, 2014

Brooklyn, NY – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University 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 Health Sciences University

Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn is one of four academic health centers (AMCs) in The State University of New York (SUNY) 64-campus system and the only SUNY AMC in New York City dedicated to health education, research, and patient care for the borough’s 2.7 million residents. Its flagship hospital, University Hospital at Downstate (UHD), is a teaching hospital and benefits from the expertise of Downstate’s exceptional medical school and world-class academic center research facilities. With a staff of over 800 physicians representing 53 specialties and subspecialties, Downstate offers comprehensive healthcare services to the community.

UHD provides high-risk neonatal and infant services, pediatric nephrology, and dialysis for kidney diseases and is the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn. Beyond its clinical expertise, Downstate houses a range of esteemed educational institutions, including its College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health. Downstate fosters innovation through its multifaceted biotechnology initiative, the Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT, which support early-stage and more mature biotech companies.