This Sunday, 230 new medical school students at the University of Texas Medical Branch will take part in a symbolic ceremony marking a significant step toward becoming a physician.

The entering class of 2018 at the UTMB School of Medicine, the state’s first medical school, will have their names called, step onto the stage at Moody Gardens Convention Center and be helped into a brand-new, physician’s white coat.

The white coat ceremony, while relatively new, has become a staple at medical schools across America.

“It’s a milestone in a person’s life,” said Dr. Danny O. Jacobs, executive vice president and provost and dean of the School of Medicine. “The ceremony reinforces our students’ connection with the history of medicine, and reflects their commitment to becoming outstanding physicians.

“Sometimes you can see a person’s face change as they put on the coat; a realization that they are on their way toward becoming a doctor,” Jacobs said.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Matt Dacso, a UTMB alum of the class of 2006. Dacso, an assistant professor, is director of UTMB’s Center for Global Health Education. His topic is “Being humanitas: The key to success, satisfaction and sanity.”

The white coat ceremony as known today got started in 1993 at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. The first white coat ceremony at UTMB was in 1996.

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White Coat Ceremony for UTMB Class of 2018:

2 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014
Moody Gardens Convention Center – Expo C 

89 Females and 141 Males