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Alumni Legacy Celebrate 2023 White Coat Ceremony 

The Miller School of Medicine’s annual John G. Clarkson White Coat and Freshman Pinning Ceremony is an unforgettable moment in a medical student’s journey. An important rite-of-passage, this ceremony signals the start of a student’s dedication to the field of medicine and responsibility to those they will serve as future physicians.

Scenes from the White Coat Ceremony

The Significance of the Pin

For several students in the Miller School’s Class of 2027, the August 18 ceremony carried a deeper meaning. They were among the select few who received their white coats and were then pinned by relatives who are alumni of the Miller School. As the students’ names were called, they walked up to the stage, and donned their new, white coats. They then crossed the stage to meet the parent, sibling, relative, or mentor who attached the official Miller School of Medicine pin onto their white coat. 

The pin is part of a long-standing tradition founded by Miller School alumni, Lakshmi Reddy, M.D. ‘00 and Cristina Pravia, M.D. ‘00, who wanted to find a way to welcome incoming students.  Acey Albert, M.D. ‘01, designed the pin that symbolically depicts the aspects of the Miller School of Medicine’s mission to be a state-of-the-art academic medical center, delivering outstanding patient care, leading life-changing research, educating the next generation of health care leaders and expanding health access and equity.

“This pinning ceremony is wonderful,” said, William Hwang, M.D. ’87, “Being able to be here tonight for my son, Kevin, is special and means a lot to me.” 

For legacy families, the pinning ceremony meant more than celebrating their students with a congratulatory gift or a special meal. The generational significance shone through as they commemorated the moment and fondly remembered the journey, they themselves took as students at the Miller School.

Sterghos Stratton, M.D., who completed his residency at University of Miami /Jackson Health System in the 1960s, celebrated his granddaughter, Baylee Brochu, M.D. candidate, Class of 2027, as she received her white coat and pin. After the ceremony, Stratton gave his granddaughter the breast cancer pin he wore throughout the 40 plus years he practiced medicine.

“I wore this pin every day when I practiced,” Stratton explained. “It reminded me of my transformative time at the Miller School and all I learned about caring for my patients. Now, I want to give it to you. It’s your pin now.” 

In addition to Dr. Stratton, here are the other alumni and the members of the Class of 2027 that they pinned.

  • Angelina Labib, M.D. ‘23 (Ramy Labib, M.D. candidate) 
  • Edward Dauer, M.D. ‘75 (Madison Hawthorne, M.D. candidate and Felipe Tribin, M.D. candidate)
  • Scott Levin, M.D. ‘93 (Sabrina Levin, M.D. candidate)
  • Andrew Sable, M.D. ‘98 (Mia Schatz, M.D. candidate)
  • Francisco Flores, M.D. ’95 (Brian Flores, M.D. candidate)
  • Francesca Raffa, M.D. ’16 and Gabriella Raffa, M.D. ’17 (Isabella Raffa, M.D. candidate)
  • Javier Flores, M.D. ’95 (Victoria Garcia, M.D. candidate)
  • Yasmeen Khan, M.D. UM/JHS Residency ’11 (Anam Ahmed, M.D. candidate) 
  • Siri Akal, M.D. ’99 chief resident (Katherine Bowers, M.D./M.P.H. candidate)
  • Marc Philippon, M.D. UM/JHS residency ‘95 (Marc Philippon Jr., M.D. candidate)
  • Victoria Serralta, M.D. ’01 (John Serralta, M.D. candidate)
  • Brian Gotkin, M.D. ’93 (Jessica Herman, M.D. candidate)
  • Allan Levi, M.D. ’94 (Harrison Shrock, M.D. candidate)
  • Emilio Roig, M.D. ’94 (Emilio Roig, M.D. candidate)
  • Orlando Santana, M.D. ’87 (Adrian Santana, M.D./M.P.H. candidate)

Other alumni present at the white coat ceremony, included:

  • Alan Pollack, M.D. ‘87   
  • Pilar Gutierrez, M.D. ‘90
  • Nelson Garcia, M.D. ‘96
  • Tanya Lawer-Garcia, M.D. ‘96
  • Gina D’Amato, M.D. ‘98
  • Amar Deshpande, M.D. ‘02
  • Geeta Nayyar, M.D. ‘03
  • Emmanuel Thomas, M.D. ‘07
  • Hansel Tookes, M.D. ‘14
  • Sarah Bland, M.D. ‘04
  • Carmen Garcia, M.D. ‘91
  • Sabrina Taldone, M.D. ‘15

Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School of Medicine, was also on hand to welcome the Class of 2027.

“This is an unparalleled and exhilarating journey that will transform and equip you with the necessary tools to exert the greatest impact on the lives of other human beings,” said Dean Ford. “Few other professions, if any, can boast such an impact on the lives of others.”

To support scholarships for medical students who need help in pursuing their dreams, visit the Miller School’s Donors and Scholars page.

Learn about the stories of Isabella Raffa and Brian Flores, why they chose the Miller School of Medicine and what motivates them to practice medicine.

Tags: Medical Alumni Association, medical education, medical students