File photo: Traditionally, the deans of the medical school coat future doctors during the White Coat Ceremony. This year, social distancing protocols will be followed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foster School of Medicine to welcome Class of 2024 with White Coat Ceremony

The Foster School of Medicine class of 2024 will receive their first white coats as part of the time-honored White Coat Ceremony on Saturday.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first year that the school’s future doctors will not have their coats placed on them by deans of the medical school. Instead, each of the 116 students in the class of 2024 will approach the podium and give a short message of gratitude to those who have helped them reach this milestone.

Gordon Woods, M.D., associate professor of Internal Medicine and college mentor, will give the keynote address.

At this year’s ceremony, the Foster School of Medicine continues its own tradition with its twelfth class. The Class of 2024 will be welcomed by faculty and staff, the El Paso community and fellow Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso students.

The White Coat Ceremony is a traditional rite of passage for entering medical students. Started in 1993 by Arnold P. Gold and his foundation, the ceremony is designed to remind students of the humanism inherent in their chosen field.

Since its inception at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the white coat tradition has expanded to 97% of medical schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Foster School of Medicine, marking its 10th anniversary in 2019, held its first White Coat Ceremony in 2009 to welcome an inaugural class of four-year medical students.

What: Foster School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26

Where: Medical Sciences Building (MSB) II, TTUHSC El Paso campus, 5001 El Paso Drive