University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine welcomes 50th class with White Coat Ceremony

70 new medical students begin classes today

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine welcomed 70 incoming medical students with a White Coat Ceremony during which the class of 2022 received their first white coats.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine welcomed 70 incoming medical students with a White Coat Ceremony during which the class of 2022 received their first white coats.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine welcomed 70 incoming medical students with a White Coat Ceremony today at Nightingale Concert Hall on the University campus, during which students received their first white coats.

  "We are exceptionally proud to welcome the Class of 2022, representing our 50th class of UNR Med students to the family," said UNR Med Associate Dean for admissions and student affairs, Cherie Singer, Ph.D.  

"The white coat has come to symbolize the caring, commitment, trust and respect associated with the profession of medicine. Donning the white coat marks the beginning of our students' journey to becoming physicians," said Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine. "It is our hope that today's White Coat Ceremony will be remembered by our students each and every time they see a patient, five, 10 or even 50 years from today and with every act of care to the patients who trust them."  

The medical students were chosen from 1,368 applicants and represent 35 college majors from 28 colleges and universities across the country and 22 occupations. They speak a collective 21 languages and have lived in or traveled to 28 countries. About one-third of the class are first generation medical students, and nearly two-thirds of the 70 students speak two or more languages. The class of 2022 has two legacy students, meaning one or both parents are UNR Med alumni. Other unique statistics about the incoming class include the following:  

·             63 out of 70 are Nevada residents

·             56% are female; 44% are male

·             54 are STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) majors

·             Age range of 20 to 42 years old, with the average age being 25 years old  

The White Coat Ceremony is considered a rite of passage for first-year medical students and is designed to instill the values of professionalism, humanism and compassionate care with students reciting the Honor Pledge.  

"The White Coat Ceremony represents the beginning of an intensive journey for these students as they train to become physicians," said UNR Med Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., "Our faculty, staff and our community partners are committed to supporting the success of these students who represent some of the best and brightest young minds in our state."  

The 2018 White Coat Ceremony is the first day of class and the last day of the two-week MedFIT program, which introduces first-year medical students to the UNR Med campus and curricula. Today's events also included Family Day which opened with a pancake breakfast and welcome from Dean Schwenk and UNR Med leadership for incoming students and their families. Other MedFIT activities include labs, lectures, team building exercises designed to set a solid foundation for student success. 

UNR Med, Nevada's first public medical school, will celebrate 50 years in 2019 and has educated more than 2,200 students, residents and fellows since it was established 1969. The School of Medicine has undergone significant growth to increase the number of health care professionals in Nevada by educating more physician assistants, medical students, residents and fellows. In 2018 alone, UNR Med launched several new departments including a new department of surgery, a new Physician Assistant Studies Program and an OB-GYN program.  

Earlier this year, UNR Med was granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) through 2026. The designation confirms that UNR Med's programs, faculty, resources and partnerships are meeting or exceeding national standards for medical education.

Media Contacts

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

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

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision that has served Nevada for 50 years. The state's first public medical school, UNR Med fosters a healthy Nevada through excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, within a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, UNR Med is improving the future of health care. For more information, visit our 50th anniversary website.