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Incoming medical students begin their journey to become physicians and leaders

Chosen from more than 4,622 applicants, the 132 future physicians in the newest M.D. class received their time-honored white coat, a traditional symbol of medicine, before their family members, friends and School of Medicine faculty on Aug. 17. Afterward, led by George Mejicano, M.D., M.S., the school's new senior associate dean for education, they recited the modern Hippocratic Oath, sacred to their profession, to consecrate their lives to the humanitarian goals of medicine.

Welcoming the students to the School of Medicine, Dean Mark Richardson said, "I can say without bias that all of our students are special, but this class in particular has historical significance. This year, we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the OHSU School of Medicine. You are forever associated with this historical milestone."

Dr. RichardsonDr. Richardson spoke to the students about the symbolism behind the white coat, saying, "The White coat is a symbol – or more accurately it is a compact, a promise – of compassion and an outward sign of a life dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people everywhere."

The J.S. "Dutch" Reinschmidt, M.D., Lecture was delivered during the ceremony by David A. Nardone, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine, general internal medicine and geriatrics. In the lecture titled, "The Doctor's White Coat: Symbols, Journeys, Responsibilities, and Relationships," Dr. Nardone spoke about the history and significance of the white coat, and offered advice to the incoming students. "Your lifelong focus must be to learn, master, teach, question and improve the knowledge base of medical practice," he said.

The OHSU School of Medicine's 125th class is characterized by students from many walks of life. The Class of 2016 includes military veterans, a journalist, an animator, teachers, nurses and EMTs, a scientist, policymakers, a former sheriff, a drummer, ranchers, world class athletes, and many others.

Of the 132 class members, 85 are from Oregon. Two students will participate in the M.D./M.P.H. program and two will join the M.D./Ph.D. program. The mean age for the class is 26 years – a figure that has held steady for the past five years.

 

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