A welcome and a white coat

146 students celebrated this milestone moment in the journey to becoming a physician

August 14, 2015

White Coat 2015On August 14, 2015, 146 future physicians from the OHSU School of Medicine M.D. Class of 2019 received their white coat before family and friends and were enthusiastically welcomed into the health care profession by their faculty teachers, mentors and colleagues.

The White Coat Ceremony is a ritual celebrated at medical schools across the nation as a time-honored rite-of-passage which not only "cloaks" students in the white coat, a symbol of medicine, but through the Oath of Geneva gives students the opportunity to dedicate themselves before others to a lifetime of service. Students were led in the Oath of Geneva by Cliff Coleman, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of family medicine, OHSU School of Medicine.

As the second class to embark on OHSU's pioneering new M.D. curriculum, the Class of 2019 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 breaks down the barriers between knowledge and its application, it helps create lifelong learners with the flexibility to adapt and lead in a changing health care delivery environment. Graduates of the school’s new curriculum will not only enter their profession with a high degree of humanism and empathy, they will translate new knowledge, leverage information technology and analyze patient outcomes to improve the quality and efficiency of the care they provide.

White-Coat-2015George Mejicano, M.D., senior associate dean for education, OHSU School of Medicine, spoke of a vision for the future, “You are the generation that will discover novel treatments for diseases that previously took the lives of countless persons. You are the generation that will optimally manage chronic conditions and actually generate health. You are the generation that will harness big data to prevent catastrophic illnesses. You are the generation that will realize the promise of personalized medicine. You are the change agent generation that will drive innovation and provide the leadership to shape the best health care system ever created!”

The J.S. "Dutch" Reinschmidt, M.D., Lecture was delivered by Robert Englander, M.D., MPH, renowned medical educator and former Senior Director of Competency-Based Learning and Assessment at the Association for American Medical Colleges. In the lecture titled, “Love: The missing competency?,” Dr. Englander spoke to students about the transformative experiences that shaped his own development as a physician.

In closing, Dr. Englander read “You Reading This, Be Ready” by the respected Oregon poet, William Stafford, and evoked Stafford’s spirit as he said, “May you spend your lifetimes learning and loving: loving your chosen profession, loving the peers who have also embarked on this journey with you, loving the many teachers who will teach you both what you want to be and what you don’t want to be, loving your patients each of whom shares the gift of their lives with you, loving your families and friends who have most assuredly played a large role in your being here today, and loving and caring for yourselves so that you can reach your greatest potential and find joy and fulfillment along the way.”

  • By the numbers

  • Of the 146 class members, 118 – or 81 percent – are from Oregon or have an Oregon heritage. 
  • Seven students will participate in the joint M.D./M.P.H. program and five 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 eight years.

White Coat 2015 

White Coat 2015