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School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2015 Share This OHSU Content

08/24/11  Portland, Ore.

White Coat


The Class of 2015 has officially arrived.

At the recent School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony, OHSU celebrated a talented and diverse group of students as they begin the journey toward becoming future physicians. From rural Oregon to Iraq, they come from all walks of life, and include military veterans, Peace Corps alumni, engineers, a nurse, world class athletes, a high school science teacher, legislative aides, inventors, artists, scientists, backcountry wilderness guides and many others.

In the presence of family, guests, and faculty members, the 128 incoming MD students were formally welcomed into the medical community by leaders of the OHSU School of Medicine and ceremonially "enrobed" with their iconic white coat. The ceremony included students reciting the Oath of Geneva — the modern Hippocratic Oath, to dedicate their lives to the humanitarian goals of medicine, and to support one another in a lifetime of service.

Dr. RichardsonWelcoming the students to the School of Medicine, Dean Mark Richardson said, “You are now joining the OHSU community. Our thousands of graduates practice far and wide, have cared for millions of patients and have made extraordinary contributions – and not only in medicine and science. Like you, they are innovators, artists and leaders.”

Dr. Richardson charged the students as physicians to always ensure their knowledge acquisition and sense of compassion remain in balance with their future patients, ensuring that those patients have put their “trust in the right person.”

The J.S. “Dutch” Reinschmidt, MD, lecture was delivered during the ceremony by David Acosta, MD, FAAFP, Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs, University of Washington School of Medicine. It was titled “First, Do No Harm: What I Learned in Medical School.” In the lecture, Dr. Acosta spoke about the trust patients give to physicians, and the power and privilege associated with it. He asked the students to look at the patient/physician paradigm and not forget their patient’s vulnerability. “This power has been bestowed upon you,” he said. “Learn to use your power wisely. If you use it wisely, it can lead to respect. And with respect comes earned trust.” He also mentioned a tool he created called HARM, which helps him stay grounded and focused. HARM stands for: Humility, Accountability, Respect and Meaningfulness. (51:48 of White Coat Ceremony video).

Of the 128 class members, 97 (75 percent) are from Oregon. One class member holds a doctoral degree. Six students will participate in the MD/MPH program and three will join the MD/PhD program. The mean age for the class is 26 years – a figure that has held steady for the past four years – and the mean GPA score for the class is 3.62. Those who go on to practice in-state will join the one-third of all Oregon physicians who completed all or part of their training at OHSU.

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