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White Coat Ceremony 2019

The School of Medicine welcomes the Class of 2023 to the MCV Campus

White Coat Ceremony 2019

The School of Medicine welcomes the Class of 2023 to the MCV Campus

M00 Deal,Cliff [View Image]Clifford L. Deal, M'00, H'05, White Coat Ceremony keynote speaker

They hail from 21 states and Canada, rural towns and big cities. They've been diving with sharks and raised bees in their own backyard. They've set up free clinics in Nicaragua, served in the Peace Corps and taught in Detroit Public Schools.

The experiences the Class of 2023 bring to medical school are varied — and extraordinary. All led the 184-member class to the Aug. 2 White Coat Ceremony in pursuit of their common goal to become physicians.

"It's the first step in your transformation into becoming who most of you have dreamed of becoming for years," said keynote speaker and surgeon Clifford L. Deal, M'00, H'05. "You won't be normal anymore. You will have special access into the hearts, minds and bodies of your patients. It's an honor to be invited into the private lives of your patients and to help them through their struggles."

A member of the first class to participate in the White Coat Ceremony tradition at the VCU School of Medicine, Deal encouraged the students to treat the white coat, a symbol of compassion and honor, as a gift.

"It’s an incredible honor and privilege to serve in this capacity," said Deal, president-elect of the Medical Society of Virginia. "There are no words powerful enough to describe the joy, sorrow and responsibility that you experience as you take care of patients and their families. If you don’t remember anything else, know this: I absolutely love what I do and feel blessed every day to do it every day.

"My heartfelt response when a patient thanks me for helping them or thinking perhaps that I saved their life is to say: 'It’s been my privilege to participate in your care.' To the class of 2023 — it’s been my privilege to participate at the start of your journey and welcome you into the profession of medicine."

The Class of 2023 is extraordinary

Before they came to medical school, they …

Went skydiving, scuba diving, and diving with sharks.
Traveled to 22 countries, 6 continents and a Buddhist monastery.
Volunteered with the Peace Corps and in a Bolivian orphanage for children with disabilities.

We’ve got an Eagle Scout, EMTs and medical scribes. Plus a student who’ll be the first doctor in their family.
A health policy researcher and a high school science teacher. An amateur beekeeper and a bookkeeper for local businesses.
A professional poker player, a personal trainer and a part-time school bus driver.

They’ve set up free clinics in Nicaragua, tutored at the county jail and taught vacation bible school.
Driven a motorcycle on road-trips around Vietnam.
Hiked active volcanoes in Indonesia and went swimming in a Central American volcano. ... Another swam to an iceberg.

They’ve had close calls, surrounded by a family of hungry black bears fishing for salmon in the Alaskan wilderness, on safari in South Africa with lions, leopards and buffalo, and photographing Atlantic puffins in Newfoundland.

A swimmer competed in six different countries and an ice dancer’s team placed third at Internationals.
A level 10 gymnast, the head coach of a high school field hockey team and the red belt men's collegiate Taewkondo national champion.

Improv comedians and musicians on the jazz trombone, piano, cello and guitar. The snare drummer of a marching band, the drum major of another, and a student who marched in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

A pair of bikers: one built an electric bicycle that can go 40 mph; the other spent two years cycling 18,000 miles from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina.

One makes delicious gumbo and another is perfecting her Italian macaroons. Someone else’s last name rhymes with ravioli.

They’ve come a long way, including one student who’s driven in a two-door Honda on a 10-day, cross-country Route 66 road trip from Orange County, California, to get to the MCV Campus in time for Roll Call!

Incoming Class of 2023

Welcome class of 2023

Matthew Alexander [View Image]

Matthew Alexander

Matthew Alexander [View Image]

Matthew Alexander

Class of 2023

Mathew Alexander is an avid tie and bow tie collector (50 and counting!).

Aaron Chang [View Image]

Aaron Chang

Aaron Chang [View Image]

Aaron Chang

Class of 2023

Aaron Chang (bottom right) hiked to the highest peak in Taiwan.

Elim Cho [View Image]

Elim Cho

Elim Cho [View Image]

Elim Cho

Class of 2023

Elim Cho set up free clinics in rural Nicaragua, administering eye exams and distributing 3,000-plus pairs of glasses.

Duru Ergun [View Image]

Duru Ergun

Duru Ergun [View Image]

Duru Ergun

Class of 2023

Duru Ergun spent 12 days volunteering at a Bolivian orphanage for children with disabilities.

Franklin Gergoudis [View Image]

Franklin Gergoudis

Franklin Gergoudis [View Image]

Franklin Gergoudis

Class of 2023

Franklin Gergoudis worked as a part-time school bus driver for Henrico County.

Nick Guliot [View Image]

Nick Guliot

Nick Guliot [View Image]

Nick Guliot

Class of 2023

Nick Guiot played the snare drum in Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium 19 times as part of marching bands.

Hailey Hampton [View Image]

Hailey Hampton

Hailey Hampton [View Image]

Hailey Hampton

Class of 2023

Hailey Hampton was a level 10 gymnast.

Brooke Hess [View Image]

Brooke Hess

Brooke Hess [View Image]

Brooke Hess

Class of 2023

Brooke Hess studied abroad in Chile, where she climbed a 7,740-foot volcano and sledded down.

Amir Hobson [View Image]

Amir Hobson

Amir Hobson [View Image]

Amir Hobson

Class of 2023

Amir Hobson was the drum major in his marching band, where he also played the jazz trombone.

Melissa Le [View Image]

Melissa Le

Melissa Le [View Image]

Melissa Le

Class of 2023

Melissa Le performed on the silks in her undergraduate university's Circus Club.

Morgan Kimmel [View Image]

Morgan Kimmel

Morgan Kimmel [View Image]

Morgan Kimmel

Class of 2023

Morgan Kimmel worked as a personal trainer and Olympic weightlifting coach.

Sid Kundal [View Image]

Sid Kundal

Sid Kundal [View Image]

Sid Kundal

Class of 2023

Sid Kundal danced competitive Bhangra, a traditional dance style from Punjab, and his team placed first nationally.

Matt Morris [View Image]

Matt Morris

Matt Morris [View Image]

Matt Morris

Class of 2023

Matt Morris led expedition-style leadership courses in rafting, canyoneering and backpacking in Moab, Utah.

Nicole Ng [View Image]

Nicole Ng

Nicole Ng [View Image]

Nicole Ng

Class of 2023

Nicole Ng has only lived in cities that have hosted the Olympics, including Beijing 2008 where she attended rowing.

Gabryel Obedozai [View Image]

Gabryel Obedozai

Gabryel Obedozai [View Image]

Gabryel Obedozai

Class of 2023

Gabryel Obedozai can often be found at City Stadium cheering on RVA's local soccer team, the Richmond Kickers.

Matthew Olocco [View Image]

Matthew Olocco

Matthew Olocco [View Image]

Matthew Olocco

Class of 2023

Matthew Olocco's backpacking trip across Southeast Asia included a motorcycle road trip in Vietnam.

Rebecca Pilkington [View Image]

Rebecca Pilkington

Rebecca Pilkington [View Image]

Rebecca Pilkington

Class of 2023

Rebecca Pilkington smiles in the Alaska wilderness moments after escaping a family of black bears during a research trip.

Kathleen Pugh [View Image]

Kathleen Pugh

Kathleen Pugh [View Image]

Kathleen Pugh

Class of 2023

Kathleen Pugh drove a two-door Honda on a 10-day, cross-country Route 66 road trip from California to the MCV Campus.

Jacob Raskin [View Image]

Jacob Raskin

Jacob Raskin [View Image]

Jacob Raskin

Class of 2023

Jacob Raskin leans back during an improv comedy performance with two Saturday Night Live alumni.

Krishna Ravindra [View Image]

Krishna Ravindra

Krishna Ravindra [View Image]

Krishna Ravindra

Class of 2023

Krishna Ravindra continues a MCV Campus legacy, following the footsteps of his father and sister.

Geetika Reichmann [View Image]

Geetika Reichmann

Geetika Reichmann [View Image]

Geetika Reichmann

Class of 2023

Geetika Reichmann performed internationally as a professional Bharatanatyam dancer for 18 years.

Gianna Rotyliano-Sykes [View Image]

Gianna Rotyliano-Sykes

Gianna Rotyliano-Sykes [View Image]

Gianna Rotyliano-Sykes

Class of 2023

Gianna Rotyliano-Sykes figure skated competitively and placed third at internationals in team ice dancing.

Miranda Savioli [View Image]

Miranda Savioli

Miranda Savioli [View Image]

Miranda Savioli

Class of 2023

Miranda Savioli served as a sustainable agriculture Peace Corps volunteer in Panama.

Rhea Sharma [View Image]

Rhea Sharma

Rhea Sharma [View Image]

Rhea Sharma

Class of 2023

Rhea Sharma has visited six continents and spent two hours traversing the Great Wall of China.

Thomas Siff [View Image]

Thomas Siff

Thomas Siff [View Image]

Thomas Siff

Class of 2023

Thomas Siff is a classically trained cellist and Eagle Scout who enjoys backpacking and whitewater rafting.

Tiffany Tsay [View Image]

Tiffany Tsay

Tiffany Tsay [View Image]

Tiffany Tsay

Class of 2023

Tiffany Tsay once played in a 2-piano, 8-hands ensemble, performing in Canada, Germany and Malaysia.

White Coat Ceremony 2019

The Class of 2023's 184 students were welcomed to the MCV Campus with an orientation week that began with Roll Call and culminated in the White Coat Ceremony where they heard from keynote speaker Clifford L. Deal, M'00, H'05. Photo credit: Kevin Morley, VCU University Marketing

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