As their families and supporters watched with pride, the members of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine’s (KPSOM) new Class of 2027 received their traditional white coats in a ceremony at the Pasadena Convention Center on Saturday, September 9.
It was an emotional day, with hundreds of parents, families and friends, school leaders, faculty, and staff in attendance as each student crossed the stage and their designated faculty physician placed a short white coat on their shoulders. This was the fourth White Coat Ceremony – a traditional rite of passage signifying the students’ entrance into medical training – since KPSOM opened its doors in 2020, and only the second held in person since the end of COVID-19 protocols.
“It's my honor today to stand with you for this step in your journey, one I think is particularly special: officially donning your white coat,” KPSOM Founding Dean and CEO Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, said in his keynote address. “But you didn’t get here by yourself. You had family, friends, and mentors by your side, encouraging you before the MCATs, psyching you up for a big presentation, and reminding you that you deserve to make it, and that your future patients deserve you, too.”
The 51 students in the Class of 2027 officially began medical school about six weeks earlier, and so they have already been immersed in the rigors of class work, clerkships, and exams. The White Coat Ceremony offered an opportunity to take a brief pause from the fast pace of their day-to-day schedules and celebrate their accomplishment with family and friends. Many students commented on the friendships and bonds they have already forged amongst themselves in just a month and half of working together.