University of North Dakota (UND)

Seventy first-year medical students, members of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) Class of 2024, began their journey earlier this month to become physicians at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (UND SMHS). Among the medical students is Valier’s Tristin Bullshoe.

Traditionally, the first week concludes with the White Coat Ceremony, where students gather as a group with SMHS administrators and their families to receive their first white coats, the physician’s traditional garment, which have been donated to students by the North Dakota Medical Association. Given the ongoing physical distancing brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, though, this year’s “ceremony” conducted virtually, was with students reciting the Oath of Hippocrates, a vow physicians have been taking for more than 2,000 years to uphold basic ethical principles of the medical profession, over an online meeting platform. They will receive their white coats at a later time.

The 34 women and 36 men, come to medical school with experience in an array of fields, including: athletic training, biology, chemistry, kinesiology, mechanical engineering, microbiology, neuroscience, physics, psychology, and zoology. Many of these first-year students already hold advanced degrees, including master’s degrees in public health and biomedical sciences and a doctoral degree in physiology.

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