Inaugural class begins a transformative new curriculumOn August 15, 2014, 139 future physicians received their white coat before peers, family, friends and School of Medicine faculty. The members of the 127th School of Medicine class were warmly welcomed into the medical community at OHSU and led in the Oath of Geneva by John Mark Kinzie, M.D., Ph.D., clinical associate professor of psychiatry.
The ceremony, a ritual celebrated at medical schools across the nation, is a time-honored rite-of-passage which not only "cloaks" students in the white coat, a symbol of medicine, but also in the responsibilities of their profession, impressing upon students the lives that will soon be entrusted to their care.
In addition to honoring the rich heritage of the medical profession, the ceremony also commemorated a momentous time in the history of the School of Medicine, as OHSU leads nation-wide efforts to re-imagine physician training for the next century.
Tracy Bumsted, M.D., MPH, associate dean for undergraduate medical education, welcomed the enthusiastic crowd in the Peter Stott Center at Portland State University. To the students, she said, "You are an outstanding group of individuals. We are already proud of each and every one of you, and we are fortunate to have you as our 127th entering class, the first students in our newly transformed, Your M.D. medical school curriculum! This is an AWESOME day for all of us!"
As the first class to embark on OHSU's pioneering new M.D. curriculum, the Class of 2018 will help to lead the charge in shaping the course of the health care revolution. The foundation of this transformation, a curriculum known as Your M.D., not only seeks to help align the educational objectives of medical school with the evolving landscape of health care, it also seeks to develop students as adaptive practitioners who are as comfortable treating diseases as they are advocating for improvements in health care delivery. By utilizing technology and integrating access, prevention and community health into the learning paradigm, students will emerge at the end of their program poised to deliver more efficient and better outcomes for patients and communities.
Using famous pieces of artwork to illustrate each identity, Dr. Barnard spoke of the tension that comes from trying to achieve balance between the often complex and disparate roles a physician is asked to fulfill during their career. Dr. Barnard advised the future physicians to keep their own vulnerabilities in mind when acting in the role of healer. “We live in the same world that our patients inhabit and share their vulnerabilities…the richest source of our empathy,” he said.
Of the 139 class members, 114 – or 82 percent – are from Oregon or have an Oregon heritage. Six students will participate in the joint M.D./M.P.H. program and four 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 seven years.
More on White Coat Ceremony
- Learn more about yourMD, OHSU's pioneering new curriculum
- Get to know the incoming class: student profiles and class statistics
- Read the OHSU Media Release
- Read welcome remarks by Tracy Bumsted, M.D., M.P.H. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
- View Class of 2018 White Coat program
- Check out the White Coat photo album on Facebook
- Read more School of Medicine news