Doctor of Medicine class of 2021 begins studies at UND SMHS with White Coat Ceremony

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News Article

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Campus Unit

School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Seventy-nine first-year medical students, members of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) Class of 2021

begin their journey next week to become physicians at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS).

Medical students’ first week is dedicated to orientation, including introduction to UND’s nationally recognized, four-year, patient-centered curriculum, where biomedical and clinical sciences are taught in the context of an interdisciplinary educational setting. Special emphasis is placed on students’ new roles and expectations of them as health professionals.

Orientation concludes with the White Coat Ceremony at 5 p.m., August 11, in the Alerus Center Ballroom, 1200 S. 42nd St., in Grand Forks where students receive their first white coats, the physician’s traditional garment, which have been donated by the North Dakota Medical Association. Students will also recite the Oath of Hippocrates, a vow physicians have been taking for more than 2,000 years to uphold basic ethical principles of the medical profession. Each student will receive a lapel pin, donated by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, engraved with the phrase “Humanism in Medicine.”

This year, two speakers will give the ceremony’s Dr. David and Lola Rognlie Monson Lecture. Dr. Joshua Wynne, professor of Internal Medicine, vice president of Health Affairs at UND, and dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health

Sciences, and his spouse, Dr. Susan Farkas, clinical associate professor of Internal Medicine at the UND SMHS, will give a joint presentation entitled “A View from Both Sides: Marriage and Medicine in a Changing Social Environment.” “When I entered internal medicine residency training years ago, there were 12 fellow interns who were men, and only one woman—a 93 percent to 7 percent ratio,” commented Dr. Wynne. “On Monday, our medical student class of 2021 is composed of 37 men and 42 women, which is a 47 percent to 53 percent ratio. What a change that represents.”

After the ceremony, the School will host an indoor picnic for students, family, and friends at the Alerus Center.

The 42 women and 37 men, ranging in age from 21 to 41 years, come to medical school with experience in an array of fields and academic degrees, including: American Indian studies, anthropology, behavioral neuroscience, behavioral sciences, Bible, biochemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, biological sciences, biology, biomedical sciences, business economics, business management, cell and molecular biology, cell biology and neuroscience, chemistry, economics, English, genetics, cell biology, and development, health science, honors, human developmental neuroscience, interdisciplinary studies, international studies, mechanical engineering, medical technology, microbiology, bacteriology, music, psychology, radiology, religious studies, respiratory therapy, Spanish, and zoology. Some students already hold advanced degrees, including master’s degrees in anthropology, business administration, healthcare management, nutrition, Portuguese, and public health. Four students hold Doctoral degrees: one in biochemistry and molecular biology, one in chemistry, and two in pharmacy.

A full list of students and their home towns is available here.