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Students begin journey to become physicians

Posted: Monday, August 05, 2013 · Volume: XLVI · Issue: 16

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Proud grandfather Jim L. Story, M.D., (left) founding head of neurosurgery in the School of Medicine, celebrates with other members of his family who have chosen to go into the medical profession. They include (continuing from left) his daughter, Kristen Story Held, M.D., an ophthalmologist; and granddaughters Holly Held Volz, fourth-year medical student, and Heidi Held, first-year medical student. Click on images for a larger view.
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Proud grandfather Jim L. Story, M.D., (left) founding head of neurosurgery in the School of Medicine, celebrates with other members of his family who have chosen to go into the medical profession. They include (continuing from left) his daughter, Kristen Story Held, M.D., an ophthalmologist; and granddaughters Holly Held Volz, fourth-year medical student, and Heidi Held, first-year medical student. Click on images for a larger view.clear graphic

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Contact: Will Sansom, 210-567-2579

SAN ANTONIO (July 21, 2013) — School of Medicine faculty welcomed 220 members of the Class of 2017 during this year’s White Coat Ceremony, where the symbolic robing of the students in white coats and recitation of the Physicians’ Oath of Hippocrates signified their joyful and contemplative transition into medical school.

Francisco González-Scarano, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, told the students that the White Coat Ceremony was the first step in the development of their medical identity. The students entered a retreat the first week and began classes July 29.

Medicine: A family tradition
A special part of the ceremony is when the students are called to the Holly Auditorium stage to receive their physician's white coat. Faculty members helped most of the students to don their coat, but a special moment awaited Heidi Held. Heidi’s grandfather, Jim Story, M.D., retired head of neurosurgery in the School of Medicine, and mother, Kristen Held, M.D., a San Antonio ophthalmologist, robed her in the white coat. Two other Story grandchildren also are in the School of Medicine — Holly Held Volz, a fourth-year student, and Justin Pulliam, a second-year student.
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Updated curriculum
The aspiring physicians will receive their education in a curriculum that integrates basic science and clinical curriculum at earlier points than ever in the school’s history, and they will be introduced to the use of digital technology in health care from day one, Dr. González said. The Class of 2017 will be one of the first in the School of Medicine’s 45-year history to exclusively use electronic textbooks.

Jefferson Bedell II receives his white coat from Nkeiruka Onyenekwu, M.D., clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine.
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Jefferson Bedell II receives his white coat from Nkeiruka Onyenekwu, M.D., clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine.clear graphic

 

Florence Eddins-Folensbee, M.D., vice dean for undergraduate medical education in the School of Medicine, said the White Coat Ceremony is “a time to carry forward medicine.” The students entered a medical school that has produced 6,000 physicians and almost 6,000 residency graduates, she noted.

Valerie Pronio-Stelluto, M.D., president of the School of Medicine Alumni Association, told the students that the healing starts for a patient when the physician takes time to listen. She urged her protégés to be curious in their studies of medicine.

Tow Humanism in Medicine Award address
Transplant surgeon Robert Esterl, M.D., interim associate dean for undergraduate medical education, received the 2013 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. In his Tow Award address at the ceremony, he gave several tips to be a successful medical student. One is to make friends. “No one can do medical school alone,” he said. “You will depend on your classmates and they will depend on you.” Another is to expect stress in various forms, from the first patient examination to finances. Mentors will be there to cheer each student with the example, “We’ve been there and we’ve made it.”

This was the School of Medicine’s 17th White Coat Ceremony. Recitation of the Physicians’ Oath of Hippocrates culminated the event.

 
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