BOCA RATON, Fla. - Aspiring doctors started their journey at the new College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University Friday. It's the first independent medical school in Palm Beach County.
64 students received white coats in a special ceremony on campus. The coat symbolizes their commitment to medicine. It's been a lifelong dream for 22-year-old Saima Siddiqi.
"The white coat is the official beginning of being a doctor, so I'm very excited about it," says Siddiqi.
"Having a College of Medicine attracts research, money and physicians, and they all want to work with medical students," says Senior Associate Dean Dr. Stuart Markowitz.
Dr. Markowitz says it's the community that he hopes will truly benefit from the new college.
"Our eventual goal is to keep physicians who train here in this area, to practice and serve people of Palm Beach County," says Dr. Markowitz.
School starts Monday. Faculty are drafting residency programs so students can continue their education at local hospitals.
Story updated to reflect that this is the first 'independent' medical school in Palm Beach County.