Chadwick Wright MD/PhD '06 (pictured left) and Richard Wardrop MD/PhD '02 (pictured right) teamed up to financially sponsor budding MD/PhD students' white coats in 2013 by participating in the White Coat Program.
Dr. Wright is a current faculty member at the James Comprehensive Cancer Center at OSU focused on Molecular Imaging, Optical Imaging, Oncologic Nuclear/PET Imaging and Hybrid imaging modalities. He is Assistant Professor of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine at OSU’s College of Medicine. Dr. Wardrop is Program Director for Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency and Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine.
The colleagues joined efforts to welcome the newest MD, PhD class and pay it forward. Learn about their experiences and perspective on why they find value in the White Coat Program.
Why did you support the White Coat program in 2013?
- Wright: When I first learned of the White Coat program in 2013, I immediately looked into sponsoring a white coat for an incoming medical student. I had such fond memories of my own White Coat Ceremony in 1997. It is the transformative moment when pre-medical students put on the white coats and officially become medical students. Although getting your first acceptance letter into medical school is a treasured memory, it pales in comparison to the White Coat Ceremony. At that moment, it really dawns on you that life is really not going to be the same again and you are now becoming part of a much larger and more exciting world. Dick and I are firm believers in the OSU motto “Do Something Great” so we decided to each sponsor five White Coats for 2013.
- Wardrop: It was really important to me to give back not only for my own delight but I was- and am- at the time in my career that I can be a good example for others. I wanted students in the MD/PhD program to know that someone that came before them cares about them.
What made giving back so rewarding?
- Wright: As OSU MD/PhD alumni, we recognize the continuous support throughout our medical and graduate training by the College of Medicine and University. When we entered the MD/PhD program back in the 90s, the MD/PhD program did not yet have federal funding but the College and its faculty clearly set a high priority for training the next generation of physician-scientists nevertheless.When I received my White Coat in 1997, I had no idea or appreciation of where it came from or who paid for it. It was just the moment when I went from being some pre-med student to an Ohio State medical student. Today I believe that the White Coat experience is even more special for the MD/PhD students because they know that each coat was donated by one of our alumni. After everything that Ohio State has invested into my career and life, why wouldn’t I take this unique opportunity to give something back?
- Wardrop: I liked knowing I could affect someone in the early stage of their education. I thought it would be impactful for the new students to receive a gift of a white coat from an alum of the program. The MD/PhD program is a long journey and it was rewarding for me to know I brought hope to new students on day one.
How significant was your first White Coat received at OSU COM? How did you feel to receive this?
- Wardrop: We didn’t have a White Coat ceremony when we were students. We had our own coats embroidered with the OSU emblem and our name. There was nothing significant about them. I’m jealous of these students. It’s a big deal to receive your first white coat and it’s worth celebrating this milestone. Your white coat has so many meanings and it tells the story of your path in medicine. It’s an honor to wear a white coat and to this day I treasure my embroidered coat from Ohio State, even if it wasn’t presented to me.
What advice do you have for our newest MD students receiving White Coats in 2014?
- Wright: To MD students, you are now following in the footsteps of those before you and, with these White Coats, we hope that you will appreciate and understand that we have just as much interest in your success today as you do. To MD/PhD students, welcome to the club! Now continue to excel at everything that you do.
- Wardrop:Medicine goes beyond science. Don’t forget the human side of it. Focus on your patients, enjoy the history of medicine, and train to be the best doctor you can be.
The 2014 White Coat ceremony is scheduled for August 4. Alums, family, and friends are welcome to join the reception and watch college graduates transition into OSU medical students. If you are interested in sponsoring a 2014 white coat, learn more here.