Twenty-four incoming students marked the beginning of their careers in medicine at the NYU Long Island School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony on Thursday, September 8, at the school’s Research and Academic Center in Mineola. The annual event is a rite of passage for medical students around the country as they are “cloaked” in their first white coats, signifying the start of their formal medical training.
Steven P. Shelov, MD, founding dean and chief academic officer at NYU Long Island School of Medicine, welcomed the students to the school, which graduated its inaugural class of primary care physicians in May.
“It is a young school, but already has a vitality and energy within it that I think you will find quite infectious,” he told the class, adding, “You will build qualities that include resilience, endurance, and an empathic approach to patients and colleagues and yourselves.”
The class of 2025 will pursue careers in the following primary care areas:
- internal medicine: 13
- pediatrics: 7
- general surgery: 2
- obstetrics and gynecology: 2
“I wanted to become a primary care physician so I’d have more power to help my patients,” says Danielle Reid of Atlanta, who has worked as a nurse for several years. “Primary care really is that first line of defense, and people who fall through the gaps—often minorities and people of color—usually do so in this first crucial step. I want to be a change maker and help fill in these health equity gaps, and I’m excited that NYU Long Island School of Medicine truly shares in that ambition.”
One-third of the Class of 2025 identifies as underrepresented in medicine and half are women. When it opened its doors three years ago, NYU Long Island School of Medicine became the first medical school on Long Island to offer Full-Tuition Scholarships to all students, regardless of need or merit.
“I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was a kid, but I grew up in a low-income household—my dad drives a yellow cab and my mother is a stay-at-home mom—so it was the kind of dream you keep working toward despite knowing that you likely won’t be able to afford it,” says Mohammed Shah from Queens. “Now here I am on the path to become a primary care physician in a tuition- and debt-free program, which means a lot to someone like me. I’m so excited to get to use what we learn in interactions with patients.”