Being a physician is a journey, not a destination

Kote Chundu, MD – Professor of Child Health at the College and CEO of District Medical Group

Friday, July 14, 2017

Eighty first-year medical students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix will receive the mantle of the medical profession on Friday, July 21, when they don their white coats for the first time. The White Coat Ceremony marks the students’ entry into clinical medicine and is a rite of passage in their journey toward a health care career.

The ceremony will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Phoenix Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix, 75 N. Second St. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m.

Kote Chundu, MD, professor of Child Health at the College and president and chief executive officer of District Medical Group, will address the students. His keynote is part of the ceremony’s history, where students are welcomed by a respected leader who represents the value system of the college.


Dean Guy Reed, MD, MS

A longtime faculty member, Dr. Chundu has been key to the continued clinical affiliation between the college and Maricopa Medical Center.

Guy Reed, MD, MS, the College of Medicine – Phoenix’s new dean, will also address the students. Dr. Reed is a renowned cardiologist, physician-scientist and health administrator.
Dr. Chundu will tell students that being a physician is a journey, not a destination.

“Medicine is a team sport,” he said. “It should be a lifelong goal not to compete, but to cooperate to improve patient care. The most important skill for a physician to acquire is learning to listen.”

Dr. Chundu has been a professor at the medical school since 1992. He has helped in the admissions process, served as a member of the dean’s search committee and on the Liaison Committee on Medical Education Self Study Taskforce Committee. He is board-certified in pediatrics, pediatric critical care medicine and neonatal and perinatal medicine.

He has stayed committed to the College of Medicine – Phoenix because of its community-centered environment, he said. “The distributive model of clinical training, a community-based emphasis and academic focus are some of the characteristics I like about this campus.”

While wearing a white coat means different things to different physicians, Dr. Chundu said to him, it represents the scientific foundations for the practice of medicine. “The white coat symbolizes the virtues of responsibility, humanity, respect and empathy.”

Cheryl O’Malley, MD, interim vice dean of Academic Affairs, said Dr. Chundu has a “long history of meaningful contributions providing patient care and as a leader and teacher. His words of advice and reflection as our students begin their careers will be very meaningful.”

District Medical Group is a nonprofit, multi-specialty physician group serving the greater Phoenix area and is the exclusive provider of all clinical services, administers all Graduate Medical Education programs and manages medical administrative functions at Maricopa Integrated Health Systems.

The group has supported student-related events, including the senior lunch and the White Coat Ceremony.

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. The widespread adoption of this celebratory event, currently practiced by 90 percent of medical schools, is endorsed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Beginning in 2007, the College of Medicine – Phoenix began holding the ceremony at the conclusion of the first academic block, Introduction to Medicine.

In addition to their white coats, students will receive a 3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope from Banner University Medicine, the textbook “The Patient History: Evidence-Based Approach to Differential Diagnosis” from District Medical Group, and Keeping Healthcare Human pins from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation.


Direct article link: University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix