White Coat Ceremony Held at Roswell Park for Cytotechnology Students

By | October 5, 2021
Sara Schodel and Alexa Casacci

Sara Schodel and Alexa Casacci (photos courtesy of Roswell Park)

Daemen cytotechnology students were recognized in a white coat ceremony—a symbolic rite of passage for those in the field—at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the educational partner for the program.

“The white coat is an important symbol that patients use to identify those who care for them and provide treatment,” said Diane Ramos, chair and associate professor of natural sciences at Daemen. “It’s also important that students have a mindset of patient care, service and professional responsibility.”

The ceremony marks the start of the students’ year-long stint at Roswell where they work in an apprentice-style program; which includes intensive, specialized study and training in clinical laboratories, surgeries and patient-care settings.

“Through this unique educational partnership, our students are learning from Roswell Park’s senior cytotechnologists and pathologists to develop the hands-on skills and knowledge needed to provide the highest quality patient care,” said Ramos.

The program is celebrating a spate of successes, less than a decade after Daemen and Roswell Park first convened to discuss a partnership. 

  • All of the program’s 2021 graduates have accepted jobs, furthering the program’s 100 percent job placement rate.
  • In addition, all of the program’s alums have also passed the national certification exam by the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. 
  • In 2022, the cytotechnology program will enroll a full class for the first time in its history.  

Students Sara Schodel and Alexa Casacci were honored at the ceremony. Each jacket is embroidered with the name of the student and the logos of Daemen College and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and is worn when they’re in patient and treatment rooms.

Speakers at the ceremony included Gregory Freund, chief of pathology and director of cytopathology at Roswell Park, Donna Russell of the University of Rochester Medical Center and Michael Brogan, dean of Daemen and senior vice president of academic affairs. 

Ramos, with students

About the program

Cytotechnology is a specialty within medical care involving the microscopic interpretation of cells to detect cancer and other abnormalities.

Daemen’s 4+1 program offers the opportunity to earn, over five years, both a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in cytotechnology in partnership with Roswell Park.

According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics, the job outlook is promising for clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, including cytotechnologists; in fact, availabilities are projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028—faster than the average for all occupations.

An increase in the aging population is expected to lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer, through laboratory procedures.