Budding Physicians Don Their White Coats

The Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine marks the transition of its second-year medical students to the hospital wards.

By Raissa Batakji

From learning about medicine to learning through serving, the experience will take on a new responsibility and privilege, said Dean Bahous.

With heads held up high, 63 medical students from the LAU Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine donned their white coats and stethoscopes, marking their transition from classrooms to clinical settings as they stepped into a new chapter of their medical education.

This year’s White Coat Ceremony, held on the Byblos campus on June 5, took on a special meaning as it coincides with LAU’s centennial year. The attendees included LAU leaders, former Trustee Mona Nehmé, deans, chief medical officers of the LAU medical centers, faculty, physicians, staff and proud family members.

Drawing on his own illustrious medical career, LAU President Michel E. Mawad described the hospital environment as a place where “science mixes with art, cold scientific judgment with human warmth, competition with cooperation and happy outcomes with sad encounters.”


Addressing the students, he declared that from this point on, “you will start experiencing the full gamut of the human drama as medicine will suddenly assume for you a personal dimension and a sense of urgency that will shape the rest of your career.”

From learning about medicine to learning through serving, the experience will take on a new responsibility and privilege, said Dean Sola Aoun Bahous. She reminded the students that “the white coat should not be a barrier between you and your patients, but a reminder of your commitment to shoulder the burdens of those you serve. It does not just clothe a doctor, but it adorns a healer, a listener and a bridge builder.”


The keynote speaker at the ceremony, Dr. Atallah Baydoun, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, gave the students valuable advice on learning from failure. “Failure is a great teacher only if you are able to get unstuck, and if you avoid getting stuck in the future,” he noted.


Putting patients first, staying emotionally positive, learning to be persistent, and combining their efforts with others, were some of the practical tips that Dr. Baydoun recommended.

One by one, the students were joined on stage by the dean, assistant and associate deans, faculty and close family members who are also physicians, as they put on their white coats and received their stethoscopes. Student Mohamad Husseini led his peers in delivering a centennial-themed Class Oath, which they had framed and presented to the dean.


The ceremony concluded with a short video, prepared by the students, highlighting some of the memorable moments of their years at LAU so far.