White Coat Ceremony

Yesterday was Studoc's White Coat Ceremony, which is evidently the first big milestone of medical school. 

We kept joking that it's like "reverse graduation," because it is.  It's initiation.  But it runs just like graduation....

......you invite your family and proud parents.  Your name is in the program.  You sit in the first rows in the auditorium with your other new classmates and listen to the faculty give inspiring and instructing speeches.  Then each new med student files up on the stage and someone important helps you slide on your coat for all to see.  You flash a big grin at the audience, donning your bright white coat and looking all official, and the photographer snaps your picture.  The families applaud wildly.

It was actually a really nice ceremony, despite the fact that we had to entertain our 1 year old for 2 hours (special thanks to Grandpa and Grandma for helping), and despite the fact that it did take quite a while for each med student to be "coated" one by one.  But how special!......I was glad they took the time to make it personal.

After the ceremony there were refreshments and Studoc took us for a brief tour of the campus.  It was a really special ceremony, and it was especially exciting to me because it marked the beginning of something big instead of the end.

I thought the school's message in the program did an excellent job of describing the White Coat Ceremony in a meaningful way:

"The white coat is a symbolic, non-verbal communication used to express and reaffirm a fundamental belief in a system that society observes.  The authority of dress is serious and purposeful, not social, casual or random.  It is a guide to patient and doctor on how to react.  Hippocrates advised doctors how they should dress.  The dress of healers of primitive societies was an important part of the paraphernalia of healing.  The uniform should imply a purely professional interest.  It must convey to even the most anxious a sense of seriousness and purpose that helps provide reassurance and confidence that his/her complaints will be dealt with competently and seriously.  The white coat provides the milieu for you to become physicians.  It is a cloak of compassion.  The White Coat Ceremony was developed to honor our medical students as they accept the responsibility of the doctor-patient relationship and the professionalism within the practice of medicine."


Building Bridges

Today Studoc and I went to a gathering of Mormon medschool students from his school.  It was pretty fun, and really comforting to meet other medschool families that are in similar positions we are.  It gets me out of my comfort zone.....putting myself out there to intentionally make new friends, but it is SO worth it and SO important for me to establish friendships with other medschool wives.  It felt good.  Building bridges.

I think the trials in our lives many times are what propel us to create the some of the most meaningful relationships.  When things were relatively easier for me not long ago, I was complacent with my friendships.  Like, I didn't have to really try.  But now that I've moved to a new place and am going through a difficult time and out of my comfort zone and lonely, what do I do?

I reach out.  

Even though it's hard.  But at the same time--it's exhilarating.

Thank goodness for the trials in our lives that force us to appreciate what we took for granted and become better versions of ourselves......and help us to form new friendships!


Medschool Lesson #1: Get past the guilt

The first main obstacle with the start of this whole medschool adventure is the issue of guilt.  Studoc and I had several important conversations where we were both dealing with issues of guilt.....

--His guilt for causing us to move away from our families to a new place to pursue his dream and causing me emotional distress from so much change.

--My guilt for feeling so much distress and wanting to be superwomanmedicalschoolwife right off the bat when I'm still trying to cope with the anxiety of change.

--His guilt for being gone so much at school and away studying and not being able to spend as much time with Bean and me as he'd like.

--My guilt that when he is actually home and I want to spend some time with him that I know I'd be taking him away from his studies and what he should really be doing.

His guilt, my guilt, his guilt, my--the list just goes on.  But ya know what?  We talked about it, and we're getting over it.  It's a shock in the beginning, but after a few weeks the guilt fades into the reality of doing what is necessary for our family right now.

That--along with our discussion on how this whole medschool thing was BOTH of our decisions and we're BOTH in this together 100%--really helps us get past the guilt and focus on how happy we are when we do get to spend time together!


About this Blog

The main characters:

Mel:  ME!  The writer and creator of this amazing blog.

StuDoc:  My amazing husband.  Short for "Student Doctor" which is what the students at his med school are told to call themselves.   

Bean:  Our 1 year old son.  Why the nickname Bean?
1.  In his first ultrasound picture, he looked like a jelly bean, and we called him that for a long time.
2.  Anyone an Ender's Game fan?  (Yes, I'm kinda nerdy.)  Bean is a little genius kid in that series, and my husband's favorite character.
3.  It's just plain cute.

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