The first year of medical school is exciting and scary. In some ways you feel like you’ve made it — a culmination of hard work, interviews, the end to worrying and waiting for admission — and on the other hand it is the beginning of even harder work. The realization that succeeding as a medical student goes far beyond test preparation. That caring for others carries an enormous amount of responsibility, and makes an extraordinary impact on people’s lives. It can be daunting and exhilarating all at once. It is the very best profession (in my biased opinion), and the white coat is far more than our uniform. It’s symbolic of all of the hard work, dedication, position of trust and commitment to others. It is a privilege to wear.
Being able to sponsor a white coat is an honor. As a medical student, It’s critical to know you have people rooting for you, especially on the days when doubt outweighs confidence. And, on top of the rigor we went through, students today worry more about money. Our White Coat gifts give us the opportunity to make sure every student knows they have someone rooting for them and helps build access to scholarship funds to ease some of that worry. I hope you will join me in supporting our future doctors, especially in this exciting year—50 years since our Charter Class started their first year of medical school at USF. In the long run, I think we measure our success not by what we achieve but by how we help others.
Doug Rodriguez MD ’92