Each August at USF Health’s Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM), first year medical students receive a white coat that symbolizes the beginning of their journey into medical education and a lifelong career in healing. The institution believes that this experience is an optimal time to ensure that our students feel supported.
For the past five years, MCOM has offered alumni and friends of USF Health the opportunity to be part of this experience through sponsoring a student’s first White Coat. By supporting this time-honored tradition, the symbolic coat is provided, as well as critical scholarship funding to offset the immense debt that medical students of our time face. For just $250, White Coat Sponsors provide the cost of the actual coat and a donation to a Morsani College of Medicine Scholarship Fund. Sponsors are also able to include a personalized note to be placed in the student’s coat pocket that is read privately during the annual ceremony.
After the ceremony, students reach out and write thank you notes to their sponsors; some have even kept in touch for mentoring and shadowing purposes. As the medical class sizes have grown, the need for more coat sponsorships have as well. While this sponsorship program started with 74 students in 2010, MCOM presented 176 students with their first coat last August. The call to action for both support and scholarship dollars was heard by the USF Health community. In just four short years, dollars raised through this program have increased from $5,100 to $52,000, and in the past two years enough money was raised to create two endowed scholarships in the names of the Class of 2017 and Class of 2018. In 2017, over $100,000 was raised to fund white coats and scholarships for our medical students. It is our hope that all of the active participation in this annual milestone event will inspire future MCOM graduates to carry on this wonderful tradition for those that will come after them.
For more information on becoming a White Coat Sponsor, please contact 813.974.9516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.