University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine welcomes class of 2025 with a White Coat Ceremony

First medical school milestone ceremony commemorates 70 new medical students

A photo of the UNR Med Class of 2025 reciting the pledge at the White Coat Ceremony.

UNR Med welcomed incoming medical students with a White Coat Ceremony during which the class of 2025 received their first white coats. Photo by Brin Reynolds/UNR Med. 

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) welcomed 70 new first-year medical students today with a white coat ceremony at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno, during which students received their first white coats to mark the beginning of their educational journeys toward becoming physicians.

The live-streamed virtual ceremony will be available for on-demand viewing on the Class of 2025 White Coat Ceremony page, and on UNR Med's YouTube channel.  

"We are exceptionally proud to welcome the Class of 2025 Med students to the family," said UNR Med Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Cherie Singer, Ph.D. "These students are taking the first step as future physicians at a time when the world needs them now, more than ever."  

"The white coat has come to symbolize the caring, commitment, trust and respect associated with the profession of medicine. The ceremony marks the beginning of our students' intensive journey to becoming physicians," said UNR Med's Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D. "Our faculty, staff and our community partners are committed to supporting the success of these students. It is our hope that today's 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 1,600 applicants and over 370 virtual interviews - a more than 6.5% increase in applicants from 2020.  

UNR Med is continuing several traditions, such as training students with strong ties to Nevada, welcoming students from the surrounding western states, and sustaining national trends in matriculating greater numbers of women and non-binary students in medicine.  

The class of 2025 represents a variety of college majors from across the country - from sciences such as biochemistry, biology, molecular biology, neuroscience to other majors including economics, engineering, English, Spanish, and gender studies. There are several legacy students who are following in the footsteps of one of their parents, brothers, brother-in-law, or cousins, who are UNR Med alumni and faculty. Other unique statistics about the incoming class include:    

  • 65 out of 70 are Nevada residents, originally from Reno, Sparks, Las Vegas, as well as rural Nevada communities, including Carson City, Yerington, Dayton, Winnemucca, Round Mountain and Pahrump;
  • Five out-of-state students are from western states, including California, Oregon, Montana, and Utah;
  • Age range of 20 to 36 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 Doctor of Medicine White Coat Ceremony is the last day of a two-week MedFIT program, which introduces first-year medical students to the UNR Med campus and curricula. MedFIT activities include a welcome from UNR Med leadership for incoming students and their families, as well as lectures, labs, and team building exercises designed to set a solid foundation for student success.  

The School of Medicine has undergone significant growth to increase the number of health care professionals in Nevada in the past 52 years by educating more medical students, residents, fellows, physician assistants, speech pathologists, audiologists and researchers. UNR Med has trained more than 4,000 physicians with over 32% practicing in Nevada, since the school was established in 1969.

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.

Released: Thursday August 12, 2021 @ 5:30 PM