The professional finish line has been crossed for a group of Mercer graduates today, and it's been a long road filled with hard coursework and challenging hours.
Medical school graduates received white coats in a ceremony at the Medical Center of Central Georgia this afternoon.
Nearly 30 new doctors took part in the celebration at MCCG, marking the beginning of residencies.
Dr Ashton Miller graduated in May, and is planning to go into dermatology after finishing a year of internal studies.
"Today has put everything into perspective, and made this whole experience real," said Miller. "Being in the hospital today and getting to wear a long white coat instead of s short sudent coat is definitely exciting."
For the next year, the doctors will work under established MD's, or continue working through internal programs at the hospital.
"We expect great things," said Dr Delanor Doyle, Chief Medical Information Officer at MCCG. "We expect them to learn all that they can. We expect them to teach as they go along. We expect them to care for our patients in the best way possible, and to give a word of encouragement whenever it's needed. Sometimes, that might be all that's needed."
This is MCCG's third white coat ceremony, following a tradition started by Columbia University's medical school in 1999.