TTUHSC School of Medicine Students Take the Next Step

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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine held its annual white coat ceremony at Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts on Friday.

180 students were able to receive their traditional white coat while starting their career in medicine.

The white coat is one of the most visible and iconic symbols of the healthcare profession. Steven L. Berk, MD, executive vice president of the TTUHSC and dean of medical school, said that for many students, the dream of donning the white coat begins the day they are accepted into medical school.

“These students have been working very hard for a long time,” Berk said. “They sacrificed themselves to go to medical school. Many of these students come from different backgrounds. Some of them even had different careers before going into medicine. Not everyone has just graduated from university; some have had other jobs as firefighters, paramedics, registered nurses, science teachers and elementary school teachers,” Berk said.

Kyler Paschall, former firefighter of the year for the Idalou Volunteer Fire Department, was one of the students who received his white coat on Friday.

Paschall said the ceremony was the first step on a long journey for him.

“It took me a long time to get here, about five years, and I have about four years ahead of me before I start my own training, so that’s the first step. That kind of makes it real,” Pascal said.

Paschall started with the Idalou Fire Department as a volunteer, while attending school, and eventually graduated in 2017. After that, he was introduced to the medical field by a former colleague who was a doctor. .

“During this period, I started to gradually dip my toes in the water with health care,” Paschall said, “and then I started working slowly to get to where I could apply for the medical school – so it was a really cool experience.”

Paschall wasn’t the only student to start out in a different field. Ross Raedeke has been a musician in Lubbock for eight years. He also received his white coat during the ceremony.

“I’ve done everything from live performances to studio work,” Raedeke said. “Some of my good friends from the band Spur 327 hired us to do their album for them and with them. It was a great pleasure and a great honor when we discovered, the following year after the release of the album, that we had been selected by the Texas Country Music Awards for having the country song of the year.

Raedeke said he still plans to pursue music on the weekends, especially since it brings in some income. He said music is his passion, but there’s something about medicine he loves.

“With medicine, I really like the idea that not only do you become an expert in your field, but you can use that expertise to help and care for others, which few have the privilege of doing and I think it’s really special.”

Raedeke, Paschall and all of the other 178 students who received their white coats today have poured time, energy and heart into getting to this point, in medical school and in residency.

Raedeke said: “This ceremony is both the end of a journey and the start of another journey of a lifetime, and to finally have that moment, he says, hey, we did it, and here begins our great journey.”

After receiving their white coats, all these students took on a common responsibility and oath, the promise to always put their patients first. No matter where these students are from, they all have one thing in common, a passion for saving lives.

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