Seventy first-year medical students, members of the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) Class of 2016, have begun their journey to become physicians at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The students, 43 men and 27 women, range in age from 20 to 37 years, with the average age of 23. Eighty percent of the students are from North Dakota.
They come to medical school with work experience in an array of fields and academic degrees in agricultural systems management, athletic training, biology, cell biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, exercise science, general studies, health policy, interdisciplinary science, microbiology, music, nursing, physiology, psychology, respiratory therapy, theology, and zoology. Some of the students already hold advanced degrees, including master’s degrees in computer science international infectious disease management, medical sciences, nutritional and reproductive physiology, physiology and biophysics, and post-professional athletic training.
“This is an exciting time for the students and their families, as well as for the faculty and staff of the medical school,” said Joycelyn Dorscher, associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. She will deliver the keynote address for the ceremony titled “What I Know (I Think).”
“This day provides the opportunity to welcome these young people who are just beginning on the road to becoming well-trained and respected medical colleagues,” she said.
Medical students’ first week is dedicated to orientation, including introduction to UND’s nationally recognized, four-year, patient-centered curriculum, where basic and clinical sciences are taught in the context of patient cases. Special emphasis is placed on the students’ new roles and expectations of them as health care professionals.
Orientation concludes with the White Coat Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Students receive their first white coats, physicians’ traditional garment, which have been donated by the North Dakota Medical Association, and they will recite the Oath of Hippocrates, an ancient vow to uphold basic professional principles.
Each student will receive a lapel pin engraved with “Humanism in Medicine,” which was donated by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. After the ceremony, the school will host an indoor picnic for students, family and friends in the Memorial Union Ballroom.
“The White Coat Ceremony really cements the core values of service and professionalism for students,” Dorscher said.
assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations
School of Medicine and Health Sciences