WCU med school hosts eighth White Coat Ceremony for new students

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - William Carey University has officially welcomed dozens of new students to its medical school.

103 students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine took part in a traditional White Coat Ceremony Saturday at Main Street Baptist Church.

It was the eighth White Coat Ceremony held since the university started its medical school in 2010.

The students were congratulated and ceremonially "cloaked" by faculty, mentors or family members already in the medical profession.

"The White Coat Ceremony is a welcoming, not just into the university, but into osteopathic medicine and medicine in general," said James Turner, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. "It's a symbolism of joining the profession."

The students come from 24 different states.

"I feel great, I'm very excited about this opportunity that I've been given and I look forward to trying to study my best and do as best I can," said Jay Napolitano, a student from New Orleans.

"I'm really excited about it, it's a great school, the faculty is great and we have a really great student body," said Darian Harris, a student from Austin, Texas.

The medical school was heavily damaged in the January 21 tornado and temporarily relocated to the University of Southern Mississippi.

But, repairs are nearly complete and the school recently moved back to its Tuscan Avenue campus.

A new semester for the medical school began last week.