In the heart of Reno’s community, a transformative ritual unfolds annually—the White Coat Ceremony. Since 1996, the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) welcomes a new class of 70 first-year medical students every year. It is a celebration that marks their entry into the medical profession and the beginning of a journey to heal, serve, and inspire the lives of others.
On August 11, 2023, the 27th anniversary of UNR Med’s White Coat Ceremony, the university welcomed the Class of 2027 at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.
The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by Arnold P. Gold, M.D., who was a professor and pediatric neurologist. Through the nonprofit organization that he and his wife, Sandra Gold, M.D., started, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation has expanded the White Coat Ceremony around the globe.
“Since 1993, The White Coat Ceremony has been an early and essential touchpoint of humanism on the path of a physician,” said Richard I. Levin, M.D., President and CEO of The Gold Foundation.
In reflection of its strong ties to Nevada and the surrounding western states, UNR Med upholds its tradition of training students with deep-rooted connections to the region. This year, the School of Medicine experienced a notable uptick in applicants. With a more than 6% increase in submissions, UNR Med’s Admissions team carefully selected 70 exceptional individuals. Of this diverse cohort, 64 students are from the Silver State itself, while the rest come from neighboring states.
“This is a special day because it signifies the first tangible step in a long and complex path to becoming a physician,” said UNR Med Dean Paul J. Hauptman, M.D. “I am estimating that 44 months, 29 days, and 19 hours from now, we will make a return journey to the Pioneer Center for a very different occasion: commencement for the class of 2027, your class.”
The Class of 2027 embodies a diverse range of college majors sourced from esteemed institutions across the nation, spanning a spectrum from microbiology and neuroscience to Spanish and business administration. Among these individuals are those who are following in the footsteps of their parents, siblings, or other relatives who are UNR Med alumni.
More Class of 2027 details:
- Students’ ages range from 21 to 42
- Six out-of-state students are from western states, including California, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, and Arizona.
- Most common undergraduate majors include Biology, Neuroscience, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The White Coat Ceremony concluded the school’s two-week MedFIT program, which offers the incoming classes valuable insight into the life of a first-year medical student. Through dynamic lectures, hands-on labs, dedicated mentorship, and collaborative team-building activities, medical students are primed for a journey toward success.
Each student's journey to this point is unique, filled with personal triumphs and unwavering determination. With every donned white coat, a new chapter commences for these aspiring physicians, intertwining personal passion with professional purpose. The ceremony concluded with the recitation of the Honor Pledge, symbolizing their commitment to the journey ahead.
“As you put on your coats today, remember you are not just adding a layer to your attire, but you are embracing a calling to serve and care for others,” said Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents Vice Chair Joseph Arrascada. “I implore you to remember that each coat you wear carries the weight of our vulnerability and the hope for recovery. As you don these coats, never forget that you hold the power to profoundly impact lives.”
As UNR Med continues its legacy of cultivating future healthcare leaders and professionals, its commitment to fostering a healthy Nevada stands unwavering. Since its establishment in 1969, the School of Medicine has made profound strides in increasing the number of healthcare professionals in the state.