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Incoming Med Students Celebrate White Coat Ceremony

The ceremony has been an annual tradition at Stony Brook since 1998.

It's kind of like a where-are-they-now story. After finishing his athletic career in 2010 as a standout quarterback of the Stony Brook University football team, Michael Coulter is back at Stony Brook – this time, as a member of the incoming class of medical students.

“I came to Stony Brook as an undergraduate because of its strong scientific reputation, the opportunity to play college football, and to study in a unique place away from home,” Coulter said in a statement. “I have observed the momentum of Stony Brook Medicine in recent years and am excited about the opportunities to study and contribute to the institution as a medical student. I know I will be challenged and stretched to my capacity, thus making me the best physician possible.”

Coulter is one of 124 students who donned a white coat and took the Hippocratic oath for the first time on Friday in the school's annual "White Coat Ceremony," a national tradition that Stony Brook has been celebrating since 1998.

The School of Medicine's Class of 2016 entered Stony Brook from a pool of 4,918 applicants, the most the school has ever seen. The class boasts a combined GPA of 3.7, with the largest number of admitted students coming from academic programs at Stony Brook (22 students) and Cornell University (8).

"Wearing the white coat brings with it much responsibility, as a caregiver, problem-solver, scientist and communicator,” Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, dean of Stony Brook's School of Medicine, said in a statement. “I promise you, your path in medicine will never be dull, filled with opportunities to help transform the lives of countless patients."

According to Kaushansky, the incoming class is characterized by "a myriad of talents, interests, humanity and academic success."

Marshall Leonard of Columbus, Ga., played six years of professional soccer before enrolling at Stony Brook. He comes to the School of Medicine with a degree in African & Afro-American Studies. "As a child, I had two dreams, to become a professional soccer player and a doctor. My focus and energy is now on medicine, and I am honored to be a member of the Stony Brook Class of 2016,” Leonard said.

And Eve Feinberg of Rockville Centre was a theatre artist and set designer with degrees from Barnard College and the University of Maryland. Now, she's a medical student at Stony Brook, who says that theater and medicine are similarly characterized by human ingenuity, attention to detail, and organization. Feinberg also overcame a visual impairment as a child and young adult to arrive at Stony Brook.

“I took a non-linear path to medicine, and that process taught me to understand myself and prepared me to begin a life-long commitment to medicine,” she said in a statement.

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