White coat ceremony for inaugural class at KCU Joplin


JOPLIN, Mo. – It’s been a dream of hers since she was six years old.

“Healing people with Band-Aids and gauze, just minor first-aid, would really excite me,” says student doctor Roxana Beladi.

And Monday, at just 21 years old, she is living that dream.

“It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for honestly, I’ve had so many dreams of just getting that white coat on and signifying the first day of my medical career,” says Beladi.

“It’s sort of, once you don that coat, you feel like you’re a physician. It’s their first step, and it’s a big step,” says KCU Joplin Dean Dr. Paula Gregory.

And for many of the students in KCU Joplin’s inaugural class, it took years of hard work for them to get here.

“There were many times, even in high school or college I thought, I’m going to fail at this, I’m not going to make it. my MCAT you know. But I just kind of picked myself up and kept studying and studying and studying and said if I really want this, it’s going to happen, and I’ve made it so far,” says Beladi.

But now, Beladi joins her 161 classmates as they begin the next leg of their journey.

“My word of adice this morning was to start looking at the successes of their future and think about them in terms of taking care of patients and giving back to the community. That’s what we think of as success,” says Gregory.

Something Beladi already has planned for her future.

“I’ve gone on a lot of global brigades and medical brigades abroad around the world. Once I officially become a doctor, I hope to continue to use that degree and that knowledge to help communities more, but I would really love if I could go back to those communities or communities like it and have a medical degree, so I can help them even more,” she says.

Beladi¬†and 161 of her classmates received white coats on Monday. They’ll have a week to celebrate before classes officially start next Monday.

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