KCU Joplin’s Class of 2024 honored during white coat ceremony

The coat represents integrity, trust, and esteem, and regard for the profession, and the university says these students are needed now, more than ever.

JOPLIN, Mo. —Second-year Kansas City University students at the Joplin campus are officially being recognized as future doctors, at the university’s white coat ceremony.

“The class today is the class of 2024,” said KCU Joplin dean, Laura Rosch. “The reason we’re doing the ceremony is when they procure their white coats they represent moving into the clinical realm of taking care of the people.”

The coat represents integrity, trust, and esteem, and regard for the profession, and the university says these students are needed now, more than ever.

“Well the Joplin campus was opened with the hope of acquiring future healthcare providers for the region and we recognize that not only are there shortages of primary care physicians but there’s really a need for dentists as well,”

According to the CDC, doctors are especially needed in more rural communities.

“Rural healthcare infrastructure is limited. since 2005, 170 hospitals have closed and 700 more are currently at risk of closure. many rural hospitals have a limited number of hospital beds, ICU beds, or ventilators, which can affect their ability to treat patients with covid-19. rural residents seeking care must often travel long distances to reach hospitals, health care facilities, and clinical specialists.”

It’s why medical students like second-year Louisa Omoregie want to pursue this career field.

“Having to start school during a pandemic I feel as student doctors we are needed now more than ever.”

She says her desire to help the public is inspired by her family’s Nigerian roots.

“Coming from a Nigerian background, I have just heard a lot of horror stories about poor access to medicine and you know some of the effects”, said Omoregie. “It just really made me feel as though I wanted to pursue medicine and be able to help underserved or underrepresented communities.”

Not only did these students take a huge step by working to join the medical field, they decided to do so during a global pandemic.