Surrounded by family, friends, faculty, and colleagues, NYU School of Medicine welcomed its Class of 2021 into its program during its White Coat Ceremony on August 17, 2017.
The White Coat Ceremony, which is co-sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, signifies the end of orientation for students and the beginning of their careers in medical school. It marks the beginning of the formal process of medical training and many students now consider it a rite of passage in the journey toward a healthcare career.
About the Class of 2021
The Class of 2021 is comprised of 120 students—50 percent of which are women. They come from 22 states and the District of Columbia, and represent 62 undergraduate schools. The median GPA for the class is 3.93, and the median MCAT scores are within the 99th percentile. In addition to becoming medical students, the Class of 2021 comes to NYU School of Medicine with unique backgrounds and interests, some of which include rock climbing, developing mobile apps, Thai boxing, costume designing, equestrian competition, coaching soccer, tennis, and gymnastics, and playing instruments such as the violin and bagpipe.
In addition, 14 students entered the MD/PhD dual degree program and 8 students entered the accelerated three-year MD pathway program—one of the first at an academic medical center—focusing their studies on emergency medicine, internal medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, OB/GYN, orthopedics, and otolaryngology.
About the White Coat Ceremony
At the ceremony, Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Health, welcomed the new students, applauded their accomplishments to date, and emphasized the importance of being trustworthy, compassionate, and putting the patient first. His remarks focused on these important traits and why they are vital for physicians to observe throughout their careers.
“There is a lot that goes into the making of a doctor. Integrity, trust, compassion, and respect are to me the hallmarks of true professionalism in medicine and essential elements of what makes a great doctor,” said Dr. Grossman. “It won’t always be easy. But by the end of your days here, you will graduate a superb physician able to pursue your career objectives on the very best foundation available.”
The keynote speech was delivered by Helen Egger, MD, the Arnold Simon Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of NYU Langone’s Child Study Center. During her remarks, Dr. Egger shared personal experiences from the beginning of her career, noting that each helped shape her into the physician she is today. She recalled one doctor’s empathetic approach when her own son was facing medical issues, and noted that being a doctor does not protect one from the challenges that patients face.
At the end of the ceremony, the students were brought on stage and “cloaked” in their first white coat by one of seven faculty members in front of those gathered.
Dr. Grossman concluded the ceremony by congratulating and class and advising the students to “work hard, learn avidly, and take time to enjoy each step on your career path.”