Jeff's White Coat Ceremony and Convocation!

 Yesterday was a very exciting and important day in Jeff's career as a SPT (student of physical therapy -that is what he puts by his name on all of his papers.) It was his Convocation and White Coat Ceremony! Jeff now wears a short white coat, when he graduates in three years he will have a second white coat ceremony where he will be getting his long white coat. Here is Jeff's class in their white coats, along with their professor, Dr. Deleo (on the left) -


 I learned a bit about white coats yesterday. In the mid-1800s, doctors wore all black. This was seen as very formal and serious (along with the somber funeral aspect - seeing as many of their patients died.) In the late 1800s and early 1900s when they began realizing how important cleanliness was to medical treatment white coats became the standard, in order to show how clean (or not) a doctor was. Today the white coat is more symbolic, and in this case marks the professional journey they are embarking on where they not just provide care for the patient, but are caring for the patient. (I took good notes.) It symbolizes compassion and an embodiment of hope.

There were some wonderful speakers at the convocation. They all talked a lot about the service you give in the medical field, and about respecting the patient as a person and really caring about them. This made me think about back in June when Jeff was in the hospital. I really felt the importance of that - there were some nurses we'd have that I felt we were bothering when we asked for more medication, while there were others that were right there, ready before we asked. There was one nurse in particular that we loved. His name was Jake, and even when he wasn't assigned to Jeff he would stop to talk to him in the halls when Jeff was doing his laps. He had such a wonderful bedside manner, and I realized that is really so important.

Each person in Jeff's class was paired up with a "buddy" in the class just above them this summer. Their buddy is there to help guide them through the first year, give advice, show them the ropes. At the ceremony, each student's buddy places the white coat on them for the first time, assisting them o show the connectivity and support that is necessary in the field. Jeff's buddy is named Pete. Here they are together -

Dr. Deleo offered a bowtie bonus to encourage the guys to dress up. I made matching bow ties for each of them. They were legit bow ties - the kind you have to tie yourself. Jeff found instructions online and practiced tying them so he could do it on each of the guys. Here he ties Zach's -


 Here are the guys in Jeff's year. Left to right - Jeff, Zach, Ben, Pete, Jason.


 When pressed for details on the bonus they had earned, Dr. Deleo told them that the bonus was "looking good." Which to be fair, they did. I am so proud of Jeff! I still have to pinch myself to believe that he is really here, getting his doctorate at GW. Doctorate sounds so smart - and of course Jeff is very smart, but it sounds so grown up! He is loving his classes and doing so well. I am a proud wife.

I am also a wife who likes to do dorky things and play around in Photoshop. We found this so funny yesterday -

Dean Jeffrey Akman spoke yesterday, and he told the students that "your white coats are ready to be filled with stories." I'm excited to see the stories and experiences that come to Jeff in his white coat.