123 new “white coats” join College of Medicine

Micky Akinrodoye dons his first white coat with the help of Drs. Carolyn Runowicz, Robert Hernandez, and Sergio Gonzalez-Arias.

Micky Akinrodoye dons his first white coat with the help of Drs. Carolyn Runowicz, Robert Hernandez (behind him), and Sergio Gonzalez-Arias.

It is difficult to get into medical school. The competition is fierce. Only a small fraction of those who apply succeed. Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine received more than 5,000 applications for the Class of 2021. Only 123 were accepted.

On Friday, Aug. 4, those chosen few received their first white coat in a traditional rite of passage known as the White Coat Ceremony. Keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Castellanos, founding chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, told the students that while their competitive drive is what got them here, they must now learn collaboration and cooperation in order to provide effective health care to their patients. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” he quoted an African proverb in his parting thoughts.

Two medical students at the ceremony have no problem following that advice—they’ve been sharing and collaborating all their lives as siblings. David Dorcius (M1), first year, and Daphney Dorcius (M2), second year, were born in Haiti and came to Miami as children in 2005 after the murder of their grandfather amidst the political turmoil gripping the country. One of the reasons they both chose HWCOM was the medical school’s “unique approach at grooming students to become socially accountable physicians,” says Daphney. David is looking forward to working with the Green Family Foundation Neighborhood Health Education Learning Program (NeighborhoodHELP™) because “we get to cooperate with other FIU students from different fields, ranging from nursing to law to social work, and take on a literal definition of holistic care,” he says.