Kimberly Freeman, MBA, MPP, EdD, KPSOM Assistant Dean for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, presented students with the class of 2026 pin on behalf of Greg Adams, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. Then Maureen Connelly, MD, MPH, KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Community Affairs, introduced faculty members, clerkship directors, and site directors, who presented students with their white coats. Dr. Connelly explained the importance of the school’s Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship program, which “is a chance for our students to have direct interaction with patients.”
Jonathan Finkelstein, MD, MPH, KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, introduced the physician oath, which was read aloud by several KPSOM leaders. Afterward, Abbas Hyderi, MD, MPH, KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, introduced the Community Agreement, which was read aloud by several KPSOM Class of 2026 students.
The event ceremony closed with words from Jose Barral, MD, PhD, KPSOM Chair of Biomedical Science, who shared a montage of images capturing moments from the Class of 2026’s time on campus interacting with each other, faculty, and staff, as well as messages of gratitude from the students. Finally, Lindia Willies-Jacobo, MD, KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Admissions and Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity shared closing remarks and thanked guests for their attendance.
“It has been such a pleasure to see you arrive at this moment,” said Dr. Willies-Jacobo. “My admissions team and I had the privilege of getting to know you when we received your applications so many months ago. One of the most gratifying aspects of my role is that I have the opportunity to meet you on interview day and I get to now see you all in your white coats. We’re all so very proud to have you at the school and certainly our namesake, Bernard J. Tyson, would be thrilled to see this third class.”
The white coat ceremony is a traditional event at most U.S. medical schools. It was created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993. The special event allows these future doctors an opportunity to reflect on their fundamental responsibility to heal, protect, and care for their patients.