The UH College of Medicine welcomed 30 new medical students to their chosen profession with a white coat ceremony on Saturday, July 31 at the Hilton University of Houston. As these future doctors begin their medical journey amid a global pandemic, the ceremony was an important reminder of the physician's responsibility to both take care of patients and also care about them.
Founded last year with a bold and fresh new approach to medical education, the UH College of Medicine is tackling a key contributor to poor health – the shortage of primary care doctors. By addressing societal factors that affect their patients' health, such as food insecurity, the environment and housing, these medical students will be trained to help eliminate health disparities in underserved urban and rural areas, which often have poorer health outcomes.
“You commit to act as a servant of humanity and always strive to be a competent and compassionate physician. Competence and compassion go hand and hand, both are vital to the healing process,” said Dr. Stephen Spann, founding dean of the UH College of Medicine. “And as you already know, there’s strong scientific evidence that as physicians we heal through compassionate relationships with our patients which lead to better clinical outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, lower cost of care and ultimately greater physicians joy.”
The UH College of Medicine received approximately 6,000 applications for 30 available spots in its second class. More than half of the second cohort received a $100,000 four-year scholarship through philanthropy to cover tuition and fees.
UH College of Medicine Class of 2025:
- 30 students
- 60% underrepresented minorities in medicine (Black and Hispanic/Latino)
- 67% female
- 53% first generation in college
- 63% low socioeconomic status (as defined by Texas Medical Dental Schools Application Services)
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the class of 2025 stood to recite their jointly-written class oath:
“As a servant leader, I will actively invest resources into the growth of my community. In the pursuit of health, I will advocate for my patience because new voice is too soft when that voice speaks for others. I will vigilantly serve historically disadvantaged communities while promoting access to healthcare. I will not permit bias, prejudice, or other constraints to impact my responsibility to my patients. I will faithfully serve with compassion, recognizing the humanity of every patient. I will remain humble and strive for continuous growth. I will honor the perspectives and experiences of my colleagues, our patients, and their loved ones. I will practice with honesty and integrity, to maintain high moral standards, and to never use my position to marginalize others. I will take these actions to foster both trust and accountability. In order to effectively care for others, I will first take care of myself - physically, mentally, and spiritually, knowing that I cannot pour from an empty cup. Above all, I will commit to do no harm and act as a servant of humanity. I will always strive to be a competent and compassionate physician.”
Watch the entire white coat ceremony here.