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Boca’s future docs get 1st white coats with pocketful of caring

Only 64 were accepted into medical school at FAU, out of 3,586 applicants. Now these future doctors are official.

The ninth annual White Coat Ceremony for the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine was today, Friday Aug. 9. Students received the garb of their profession and took an oath to care.

But the white coats come in two parts in Boca. First, the community came together to sponsor the coats and scholarships for the class of 2023. They’ll find the names of their benefactors in the pocket, event founders Bonnie and Jon Kaye said at the White Coats-4-Care on Aug. 5.

The ninth annual event raised $180,000 for student scholarships, $600,000 so far, the Kayes said.

“This is our first day of medical school!”  Sarah Palumbo told Boca Voice.

As National Merit Scholars, Palumbo and Nadia Sial are the first students from FAU High School’s MD Direct pipeline program.

“We’re able to attract the best and the brightest,” medical school dean Dr. Phillip Boiselle told supporters at the fundraiser. “Our community serves our students, who go on to serve our community.”  

The applicant pool for next year numbers 4,050, Dr. Stuart Markowitz added.

Some students are multi-talented as athletes, student leaders and even English tutors, he added.

Dr. Darin Trelka’s white coat band, the Cytokines, entertained at White Coats-4-Care, Boca’s fundraiser for new medical school students.

Dr. Darin Trelka puts together a white coat band. “We’ve had as many as 12 students who are also musicians,” he said as they entertained at FAU Stadium’s Delray Acura Club.

“This university has a big heart,” FAU president Dr. John Kelly told the crowd.

The official white coat ceremony is “a rite of passage,” Markowitz said at the earlier fundraiser. “It instills humanism. And we emphasize the oath of healing is primary in the doctor, patient relationship.”

Scholarship students from earlier classes stepped up to thank donors who helped them pay for their medical education.

“This year, to help welcome the next generation of physicians, the Palm Beach County Medical Society generously donated new stethoscopes to each member of the class of 2023,” according to the university.

Following Friday’s ceremony, students and guests attended a reception underwritten by Dr. Michael T.B. Dennis, an FAU trustee on the medical school’s advisory board.

By Marci Shatzman

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