Students in the Class of 2027 at the MU School of Medicine have taken their first steps as future physicians. Last week, they received their first stethoscope and white coat, symbolizing their entrance into the health care profession.
This year’s class of 128 first-year medical students were selected from nearly 2,700 applicants. Of the students in the class of 2027, 84% are from Missouri and 18% are from rural areas. Additionally, 30% are from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and 13% are first generation college students.
The School of Medicine leadership presented the new M1 students with their white coat and administered the Declaration of Geneva, a modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, at the annual White Coat Ceremony on Friday, July 28.
The ceremony featured opening remarks from Michael Hosokawa, Ed.D., senior associate dean for education, who reminded students of the responsibility and important work they have undertaken.
“This white coat signifies a compact, a contract, a commitment—to knowledge, mutual respect and shared humanity,” Hosokawa said. “The white coat represents our compassion and the respect a physician must have for each and every patient.”
MU School of Medicine alum George Hubbell, M.S., M.D., ‘87, gave the keynote address at the White Coat Ceremony. He stressed the importance of self-care and managing stress amid a historical physician shortage, and reminded students of that these were the first steps of a long but rewarding journey.
“Our profession is a process of lifelong learning,” Hubbell said. “(Doctors) will always be needed, in some capacity.”
The Class of 2027 heard similar advice earlier last week at the annual Stethoscope Breakfast where students were given their first medical tool—a stethoscope. Speakers at the breakfast included alum Steve Daniels, MD, ’87, an anesthesiologist in North Dakota, and Richard J. Barohn, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson dean of the School of Medicine.
Barohn emphasized that the stethoscope symbolizes the technical expertise physicians gain in medical school. It is the first tool medical students will master in their journey to become physicians, but it will not be the last. He also encouraged students to hold compassion and respect for their patients at the core of their medical education.
Thank you to our alumni and friends for providing stethoscopes and white coats for our students. This is the 11th year of the donation program, which has raised over $250,000. In the past year alone, donors gave $40,915, the largest single-year total.
The first White Coat Ceremony was conducted in 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. The ceremony was created by Arnold Gold, MD, a pediatric neurologist, who called the white coat his profession’s “cloak of compassion.” The Arnold P. Gold Foundation estimates that a White Coat Ceremony or similar rite of passage is now held at more than 90% of schools of medicine and osteopathy in the United States, as well as at all four medical schools in Israel. The first White Coat Ceremony at MU occurred in 1997.