In a recent ceremony, students from the Long Island (Old Westbury) campus of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine is a received their white coats, a rite of passage signifying their official start in medical school.
Local medical students who received coats included:
- Courtney Aronica of Commack
- Nina Monkash of Deer Park
- Sophia Ahmad of Dix Hills
- Iffat Adeel of Huntington Station
- Amna Haider of Melville
Of the 295 new medical students coated at the event, six were coated by family members who are NYITCOM graduates, known as legacy coaters, including physician and NYITCOM Assistant Professor Zachary Levokove (D.O. ’94), who coated his son Brandon Levokove.
Nazifa Tokhi, who was coated by her brother Billal Tokhi (D.O. ’15), talked about her admiration for physicians.
“Our sister was a cancer survivor, so as kids we spent a lot of time in hospitals, and I looked up to the physicians,” she said. “I’ve always seen physicians as heroes, and now I have the opportunity to be a hero too.”
The NYITCOM Long Island Class of 2022 will go on to fill the shoes of the Class of 2018, which boasted a 99 percent placement rate. Students from this latest graduating class have gone on to pursue premiere residencies in specialties ranging from ophthalmology, neurological surgery, anesthesiology and pediatrics, at institutions such as Tufts Medical Center, Virginia Tech, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health, and other prestigious institutions.
Jerry Balentine, D.O., dean of NYITCOM and NYIT’s vice president of Health Sciences and Medical Affairs, welcomed the newest Long Island medical students. “The white coat symbolizes many things. For you, right now, it symbolizes a change. A new path, a profession that you have chosen and in a small way has chosen you,” he said.