School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2013 with White Coat Ceremony, Family Day

News & Events

RENO, Nev. — Incoming medical students in the Class of 2013 participated in the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Aug. 14 which symbolically welcomed them into the health care profession. The ceremony concluded the students' orientation week and is part of the University of Nevada School of Medicine's Family Day celebration.

The annual Family Day offered students and their families the opportunity to participate in workshops aimed at informing them as to what to expect during the next four years of medical education. Family Day began with the Dean's Pancake Breakfast on the lawn between the Howard and Manville Buildings in the medical education complex on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The breakfast provided students and families the opportunity to meet the dean as well as associate and assistant deans as they served breakfast.

The Class of 2013 is comprised of a broad representation of students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Of the 62 entering students, all but eight are Nevada residents and are split nearly equally between men and women. Two dozen incoming students hail from Washoe County while about 20 call Clark County home. Three more represent Nevada's rural counties. Their average age is 23.

More than two-thirds of this class earned their bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, chemistry or biological sciences, but undergraduate majors range from creative writing to engineering to Spanish.

Members of this class have held previous occupations as a violinist, a volleyball coach, a graphic designer and a nanny. They speak a multitude of foreign languages including French, Korean, Italian, Tagalog, Panjabi, Danish and Urdu. Among their ranks are found an Eagle Scout, a Renaissance Scholar, members of various honor and academic societies and Mensa International. Members of this class enjoy surfing, tennis, soccer, snowboarding, water skiing golf, gymnastics and archery.

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1996 and 1997 made future and widespread advocacy of this celebratory and solemn event possible. Currently, a White Coat Ceremony or similar rite of passage takes place at more than 90 percent of all schools of medicine and osteopathy in the United States. The event emphasizes the importance of compassionate care for the patient as well as scientific proficiency.

At the ceremony, students were welcomed by their deans and other respected leaders who represent the values of the school and the new profession the students are about to enter. The cloaking with the white coat-the mantle of the medical profession-is a hands-on experience that underscores the bonding process. Each student was cloaked with the white coat by individuals that believe in the students' ability to carry on the noble tradition of doctoring. It is a personally delivered gift of faith, confidence and compassion.

The University of Nevada School of Medicine held its first White Coat Ceremony in 1996 for the graduating Class of 2000.

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.