Touro College of Pharmacy Class of 2018 Celebrate White Coat Ceremony

Highlights from the event

October 07, 2014

For Mir Mahmood, from Jersey City, New Jersey, the white coat ceremony marked “the beginning of a new chapter” in his life.

The Pharm.D candidate and newly elected P1 class representative graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and chose Touro College of Pharmacy (TCOP) because the curriculum sounded “very unique.” He liked the division of courses (students spend the first two years taking didactic classes and the final two years taking experiential practice classes—“so we have more time to apply what we learned from our didactic courses to our clinical rotations”) and also admired the level of professor care.

On September 18th, 2014, he and seventy-six other incoming students celebrated their TCOP start at a White Coat Ceremony that took place at the Alhambra Ballroom in West Harlem.

As is tradition at a White Coat Ceremony, which marks a student’s passage into pharmacy school, students recited the Oath of a Pharmacist and the Pledge of Professionalism. Dr. Zvi Loewy, interim dean for the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Katherine Knapp, associate provost for pharmacy of the Touro College and University System (TCUS), welcomed the new class to TCOP.

In his introductory remarks, Dr. Loewy said, “As members of the Touro College of Pharmacy community, we are privileged to be located in the heart of Harlem—true to our mission of promoting education and better healthcare to underserved populations. Our overall objective in pharmacy is to make a difference in the healthcare and quality of life of others. But as you embark upon your pharmacy education, remember to create your own individual vision. Just like Touro was founded by a true visionary, Dr. Bernard Lander (of blessed memory), so too, I encourage each of you to aspire to great things in the years to come.”

Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka, Executive Vice President of TCUS, delivered the invocation address; and Dr. Nataliya Shinkazh, TCOP’s Teacher of the Year, presented a “Message to the Class.” In her advice to the students, she reminded them that “pharmacy school is no cakewalk.”

“By the end of the next four years, you will become exceptional multi-taskers, thoroughly addicted to caffeine, and some of you might find a few extra gray hairs.”

On a more serious note, she gave them a brief glimpse of what they should expect from TCOP’s program. “You will learn a tremendous amount about pharmacy practice and how to provide high quality care to patients. You will participate in health screenings, medication counseling sessions, and rounds with medical teams. During your internships, you will contribute to public-health initiatives at organizations like the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association. It is rewarding to know that you will work every day for a higher purpose: to help improve the healthcare of people in your community.”

Mahmood’s favorite part of the ceremony? “I felt a sense of unity with my fellow classmates when we recited the Pharmacist's Oath together.”