Geisel’s Class of 2024 Receive Their White Coats

Early on a foggy mid-October morning drive-through, Alison V. Holmes, MD, MPH, associate dean for student affairs, and John F. Dick III, MED ’03, interim senior associate dean of medical education, distributed white coats to first-year Geisel medical students, marking an important symbolic step in their medical careers. Shifting from its usual on-campus celebration with friends and family because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, students were coated later that morning during their On Doctoring small group sessions.

Later in the evening, family and friends joined students in a Zoom gathering featuring guest speakers to celebrate this important right-of-passage.

Representing the Class of 2023, second-year medical student Irene Vargas reminded everyone they are at the beginning of their journey and the white coat they received means something different to each of them. “For me, this white coat is a symbol of the privilege I have to care for others,” she said. “My white coat reminds me that I must advocate for my patients, ensure equitable care, and work to erase the injustice of healthcare disparities. Every time I wear this white coat, I am reminded that I wouldn’t be here without the unconditional support of my parents who immigrated to this country and sacrificed their dreams so I could live mine.”

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