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OUWB welcomes new students with White Coat Ceremony

Friday, August 9, 2013
OUWB welcomes new students with White Coat Ceremony
By Katie Land, news editor

The OUWB class of 2017.
The dream of medical school became a reality for a new class of students today, as they mark their official entrance into the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) with the White Coat Ceremony.

The donning of the white coat represents more than a hundred years of tradition, and marks the beginning of each student’s journey into the medical profession, according to Angela Nuzzarello, OUWB associate dean for Student Affairs.

"By establishing this ritual at the beginning of medical school, we are reinforcing that the responsibilities of being a physician start today," Dr. Nuzzarello said.

"This ceremony highlights the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship and the obligation to strive for excellence, show compassion and to lead lives of righteousness and honor."

Drawn from more than 3,700 applicants from across the country, 100 students participated in the ceremony to form the OUWB class of 2017. Each student was helped into their white coat by their PRISM (Promoting Reflection and Individual growth through Support and Mentoring) faculty mentor.

The PRISM mentor is a Beaumont physician who will provide personal and professional support to a group of 20 students over the next four years. PRISM mentors for the class of 2017 include Dr. Hannan Ahlsalani, Dr. Demetrious Demetrie, Dr. Marion Hoelzer, Dr. Nafis Kuwajerwala, and Dr. Mazen Shoukfeh.

At the solemn ceremony, the students recite the Declaration of Geneva, adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association at Geneva in 1948, and later amended.

“At OUWB, we teach our students not just to be experts in the science of medicine, but to be compassionate and kind – the type of physician that you would want to care for you and your family,” said OUWB Dean Robert Folberg. “The humanitarian values of medicine are encompassed in the Declaration of Geneva recited by the students and by all physicians in the room during the White Coat Ceremony.”

The OUWB medical school was opened in 2011 with a charter class of 50 students. As Michigan's first new allopathic medical school in 47 years, the OUWB curriculum combines science coursework with clinical training through every step of the program. To learn more about OUWB, including programs, curriculum, events and more, visit

The medical school celebrated yet another milestone this August, with the opening of the new Hannah Hall of Science School of Medicine Laboratories. The instructional labs will provide state-of-the-art space for teaching human medical gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, microbiology, immunology, pathology, physiology and other disciplines.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.