NYU Grossman School of Medicine welcomed its newest class of future physicians during the annual White Coat Ceremony on Thursday, September 29. The ceremony, which took place in the newly renovated Murphy Auditorium in Manhattan, is a rite of passage for first-year medical students as they are “cloaked” in their first white coat. The ceremony signifies the beginning of their formal medical training.
Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean of NYU Grossman School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health, welcomed the class with a speech focused on “The Long and Winding Road” by The Beatles and how it is a great synopsis for a career in medicine.
Explaining that the path to becoming a doctor will be long and winding, he reminded students that medicine is one of the most fulfilling occupations an individual can aspire toward. “The skills you are acquiring are venerated, and every day affords an intellectual challenge. All of this makes work interesting and meaningful. You could not ask for a better profession,” says Dr. Grossman.
Victoria C. Dinsell, MD, the new associate dean of students at the school, presided over the ceremony. The keynote speaker was Iman Osman, MD, the Rudolf L. Baer Professor of Dermatology at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology and a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Urology.
NYU Grossman School of Medicine has offered Full-Tuition Scholarships since the landmark announcement at the 2018 White Coat Ceremony. Since then, the school has introduced need-based Debt-Free Scholarships as a complement to Full-Tuition Scholarships to cover the full financial need of students with scholarships instead of loans. Most recently, the school announced this year that it will cover the cost of an individual health insurance plan for all current and future medical students. With health insurance originally slated to cost approximately $7,200 for the upcoming academic year, this new initiative will save students nearly $30,000 on non-tuition fees over the course of their medical education.
About the Class of 2026
There are 105 students in the first-year class. The following characteristics are of note:
- 13 students entered the dual MD/PhD program
- 8 students entered the accelerated three-year MD pathway
- 23 percent identify as underrepresented in medicine
- median GPA is 3.96
- median MCAT score is 522 (which places them in the 99th percentile)
Among the first-year students is Claire Thompson of Toronto, Canada, who spent the last two years since graduation playing professional ice hockey and became an Olympic gold medalist when the women’s national ice hockey team of Canada won gold in the 2022 Winter Olympics. She says the discipline, hard work, and ability to perform under pressure needed in the sport are also qualities she is drawn to in medicine.
“I’m excited to be at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and to be exposed to such a diverse population of patients under the supervision of really fantastic educators and leaders in their fields,” Thompson says. “Also, the financial aspect of coming to this school—the Full-Tuition Scholarship and now having health insurance covered—is a huge relief and wonderful to not even have to consider such a large financial burden that would stay with you for quite some time.”
Also among the Class of 2026 is Joseph Obiajulu of New Jersey, who recently joined the U.S. Air Force as part of an Air National Guard program for early-career physicians. He says the military and medicine offer opportunities to serve others, and he is excited to receive his training at NYU Langone Health.
“There is a real sense of positive momentum here. You can feel that we are always moving forward, in how we educate students, and in our research and clinical care,” Obiajulu says. “There are so many new ideas, and they get executed very quickly. It can be easy for successful institutions to rest on their laurels and not push themselves, but NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s exponential rise shows we are always pushing ourselves to grow.”