Covenant Health recently hosted a “White Coat Ceremony” at the Knoxville Convention Center for medical students from Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM). The ceremony serves as a way to welcome the next generation of physicians. Since 2016, Covenant Health has partnered with LMU-DCOM to offer clinical rotations and hands-on experience for medical students.
Under the direct supervision of physicians, a total of 39 medical students will interview and examine patients, review clinical information, make hospital rounds, participate in interdisciplinary team meetings, practice appropriate documentation and perform procedures. Core rotation sites for the program are Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, and Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System in Morristown, all members of Covenant Health.
Each student beginning clinical training at a Covenant Health organization received a personalized coat presented by Covenant Health Chief Medical Officer Mark Browne, MD. As their arms slipped into the sleeves and the fabric slid over shoulders that will bear new responsibilities, the coat represented a bridge between medical school and the new experience of rigorous work in a clinical atmosphere.
“This path requires courage and heart, it requires passion and commitment and it requires faith,” said Debby Saraceni, Covenant Health vice president of marketing and physician services, “Most of all, this path requires conviction to advocate for what you know is right. Step out there and make a difference.”
“You’re going to be working with real patients and you will be working with people who are going to be your colleagues,” said Christopher Loyke, DO, dean and CAO of LMU-DCOM. “I think a system like Covenant Health, with its emphasis on service, education and meeting the needs of the underserved, is a perfect fit for a partnership with LMU.”
Pete DeBusk, LMU chairman of the Board of Trustees and co-founder of LMU-DCOM, assured the students that rewarding experiences are ahead. “This is a special partnership,” DeBusk said. “It’s a special area with special people and lots of good rotations. You’re very fortunate.”
DeBusk also shared the history of LMU-DCOM, expressed his personal interest in the students and his hope that after graduation they might continue to provide care to East Tennesseans. Doug Campbell, general counsel for Covenant Health, challenged the future physicians to live up to mutual standards of excellence and service.
“Covenant Health and LMU have a shared vision of excellence, a passion for quality, a culture of teaching and learning, and a promise of service to the community,” Campbell said. “It’s what our patients and communities expect and what our patients and communities deserve.”
The students will graduate from the clinical program in 2023.