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White Coat Ceremony to officially welcome School of Medicine Class of 2025

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine will welcome its sixth class of medical students with a White Coat Ceremony, 10 a.m. Saturday, July 24 at the UTRGV Performing Arts Complex Auditorium. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

Mega Doctor News

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WHAT: White Coat Ceremony for Class of 202

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, July 24 ·         

WHERE: The UTRGV Performing Arts Complex Auditorium, 

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1201 W. University Drive, Edinburg 78539

By UTRGV News and Internal Communications 

EDINBURG, TEXAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine will welcome its sixth class of medical students with a White Coat Ceremony,10 a.m. Saturday, July 24 at the UTRGV Performing Arts Complex Auditorium. 

The incoming class has 55 students, with 24 from the Rio Grande Valley and 12 UTRGV graduates. The students were selected from more than 7,545 highly competitive applications.

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The event also marks the first White Coat Ceremony at UTRGV for Dr. Michael B. Hocker,dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine, who assumed his duties on June 28.

During the ceremony, medical students, each carrying their white coat, will walk across the stage, where the school’s leaders will help them don the white coat for the first time. 

For Aaron Carrillo, a May 2021 UTRGV graduate, the white coat symbolizes the culmination of four years of hard work and a major milestone toward becoming a physician. 

“There is a certain responsibility and an immense feeling of gratitude that accompanies the white coat. Those feelings were finally sinking in as I was getting fitted for the first time,” Carrillo said.  “I understand the journey to become a doctor will be difficult, but I am eager to start learning from my peers and the faculty.”

Serving as keynote speaker will be Julie Ann Freischlag, FACS, FRSCE, MD, dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine and CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health. 

Hocker said the UTRGV School of Medicine is honored that Freischlag accepted the invitation to speak at the ceremony.

“Dr. Freischlag is a trailblazer in the field of vascular surgery and in academic medicine,” he said.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation started the White Coat Ceremony in 1993 to welcome new medical students to the healthcare profession. Almost all medical schools in the United States today, as well as schools for other healthcare professions, perform such ceremonies. 

White Coat ceremonies serve as a rite of passage for medical school students. In addition to having medical school officials help with the robing process, students also take the Hippocratic Oath, which acknowledges their primary role as caregivers.The ceremony will be available via live stream at www.utrgv.edu/live.

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