Embarking on Clinical Rotations
Ninety-five third-year students from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University received their white coats at a ceremony held at Worcester Technical High School on Friday, March 17, 2023.
The event, celebrated annually since 2005, recognizes the students’ completion of three years of education and rewards them with their white coats prior to embarking on their clinical rotations of their final year in pursuit of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.
For the third consecutive year, the third-year students were supported by the White Coat Sponsorship program, where generous alumni sponsor a student’s first white coat through a gift of $50 or more and a short note of advice, encouragement, or well-wishes—each is tucked in the pocket of a student’s coat.
Tufts University Provost and Interim Senior Vice President Caroline Attardo Genco, Ph.D. (she/her), welcomed participants and guests. “Please take the time to celebrate what you have accomplished so far and enjoy this victory and congratulations to you and your family,” she said.
Cummings School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Nicholas Frank served as emcee and applauded the Class of 2024, especially for their navigation through the pandemic. “You handled that as well as we could have hoped … It is with great pride we welcome you into the clinical phase of your curriculum,” he said.
Dr. Bonnie Smith, V93 (she/her), president of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), offered congratulations to the Class on behalf of the MVMA. “Each of you have different experiences and drives that motivate you,” said Smith. “You will rely on them repeatedly to make a difference in the animal world you live in now … all that anyone is asking you to do is to keep learning and to approach your potential. The experience is the journey.”
Veterinary medicine is a team sport, and we all want to see each other succeed. That is how we make this profession better.
Kat King, V23
Dr. Adam Ward (he/him), assistant clinical professor, Department of Ambulatory Medicine and Theriogenology, spoke on behalf of Cummings School faculty members and offered some advice. “Ask for help when you need it … Work as a team … and make this your year. Don’t wait for the learning to come to you. Be active, take initiative, and do your best to show up prepared.”
Welcoming members of the Class of 2024 into the clinics, student speaker Katherine King, V23 (she/her), explained how joy, patience, kindness, respect, bravery, and vulnerability, will all be important during clinicals. “Veterinary medicine is a team sport, and we all want to see each other succeed. That is how we make this profession better,” she shared.
White coats were presented to the students by Dr. Flo Tseng, associate dean for diversity, inclusion, equity, and climate; and Dr. Perry Bain, assistant professor, Department of Comparative Pathobiology.
Dr. Angeline Warner, associate professor, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, led the students in collectively reciting the veterinary student oath, authored by members of the Class of 2005 for the first Cummings School White Coat Ceremony:
It is with great honor that we accept our white coats on this special day.
It is with strength and humility that we shoulder all the responsibility they represent.
We pledge to use them not as a shield, but a gesture of comfort and hope for those entrusted to our care.
From this day forward we will strive to promote lasting alliances in health,
maintain professional integrity and provide compassionate care for all in need.
During the 15 months of clinical rotations for fourth-year students they gain experience in the Cummings School’s Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals, the Hospital for Large Animals, Tufts Wildlife Clinic, the Luke and Lily Lerner Spay/Neuter Clinic, Tufts Veterinary Field Service (Woodstock, Connecticut), and Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic (Worcester, Massachusetts).
To close the ceremony, Dean Alastair Cribb (he/him), Henry and Lois Foster professor, thanked all of the speakers and attendees. “Class of 2024, congratulations. You look great, the new coats look fantastic, and good luck next year.”
Ninety-five third-year students received their white coats at Worcester Technical High School on Friday, March 17, 2023 during Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine's White Coat Ceremony.