The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) Joplin welcomed its second class of student doctors during a white coat ceremony, held at the Joplin High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday, July 22, 2018. The ceremony represents a significant milestone in a student doctor’s journey to becoming a doctor.
With hundreds of family and friends watching from the audience and KCU faculty supporting them on stage, the one hundred sixty two students each received the coveted white coat they will wear over the next four years of their medical education.
Charles Graham, DO (COM ‘15), served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. Dr. Graham gave a moving speech, sharing his inspirational story of triumph over challenging circumstances to become an osteopathic physician. Dr. Graham explained that no one in his family finished high school; he dropped out of the 9th grade and went on to drive a truck. But a tender moment with his daughter changed and defined his life, inspiring him to become a physician.
“What you’re about to do isn’t easy, Dr. Graham said. “When it gets difficult I want you to remember that the challenges are your opportunity to excel. If it was easy, everybody would do it but not everyone can.”
Dr. Graham now serves as the Critical Access Emergency and Acute Hospital Physician at the South Lyon Regional and Sharon Regional Medical Centers. He reminded students of tremendous responsibility they will one day have. “We’re the leader who people look to in their darkest and most frightening times,” Dr. Graham said. “We’re the last line defense against pain, suffering and sometimes untimely death.”
After walking across the stage to receive their white coats, the student doctors took the osteopathic oath, affirming their loyalty to the medical profession. At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, executive dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs presented the class of 2022 to a cheering crowd.
The entire ceremony can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsmnArGOSGw&feature=youtu.be