On August 12, the UVA School of Medicine MD Class of 2026 and their families gathered in Old Cabell Hall for the White Coat Ceremony and Convocation, which was endowed by the Class of 1965. As this incoming class donned their white coats, they took the first steps to becoming doctors and scientists. Over the past week, they’ve met their classmates, deans, advisers and faculty members who will introduce them to the practice of medicine. This ceremony marks the week’s end when they formally accept the white coat — a symbol of their profession.
Barry Collins, Executive Director of the UVA Medical Alumni Association and Medical School Foundation and Associate Dean for Medical Alumni Affairs, welcomed the new students, families and attendees and provided some background for the ceremony. He welcomed Lauren Duavant, SMD’23, who is president of the student-led Mulholland Society. She described how the white coat reflects students’ time in med school, noting that it will never be as pristine as it was this day. Instead, each mark is linked to memories, telling the experience of the journey in medicine.
Wearing the white coat is a constant reminder of this core relationship with the patient and your commitment to this life of service. ~ Dean Melina Kibbe
School of Medicine Dean Melina Kibbe shared the excitement and sense of unlimited possibilities she had waiting for her own white coat, and what it felt like to put it on for the first time. She offered to the new students that wearing the white coat should be constant reminder of the core relationship with the patient and their commitment to this life of service. She also talked about how they will build their knowledge of the scientific basis of medicine, in addition to the preventative, curative, and palliative skills they’ll acquire as clinicians.
The students were announced by Meg Keeley, MD ’92, Senior Associate Dean for Education, and the white coats were presented by the deans of each of the four colleges:
- Laurie Archbald-Pannone, MD, Res ’05, Dunglinson College
- John Densmore, MD ’95, PhD ’94, Res ’98, Fel ’01, Hunter College
- Dana Redick, MD, Pinn College
- Sean Reed, MD, Res ’07, Reed College
- Dean Kedes, MD, PhD, presented coats to the MD/PhD students in the Medical Scientist Training Program.
After the final coating, the students recited the “Covenant for the Entering Class and Their Teachers;” faculty assembled on stage and accepted the responsibility for being their teachers.
See below for photos from the event. Photo credit: Coe Sweet.