Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine – Southern Utah (RVUCOM-SU) held its inaugural White Coat Ceremony at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, Utah on September 16th.
The White Coat Ceremony is a traditional way to welcome new students to their medical careers. The keynote speaker was Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP-dist. Vice President for Academic Affairs of RVU and Dean of RVUCOM. Building an osteopathic medical school in Utah has been a life-long goal of Dr. Told: “I am a native Utahan and, as a young boy, I promised myself I’d return one day to help the small towns of Utah find and keep their doctors, since so many students must leave the state to become physicians.” Utah ranks 44th in the nation for primary care physicians, with 58.4 active primary care physicians per 100,000 people.
Additional speakers included Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of RVU; Maha Sallam, PhD, Chair of RVU’s Board of Trustees; David J. Park, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP, Southern Utah Campus Dean; and Chris Hart, Mayor of Ivins, who presented a key to the City of Ivins to RVU’s Founder, Mr. Yife Tien.
Upon being coated (the act of officially receiving their white medical school coats) by faculty members, the students were led by a fellow classmate in reciting the vision statement that they as a class had written to express their goals and values for the next four years at RVUCOM-SU.
The Class of 2021 is comprised of 134 students with 55% of the Class consisting of Utah residents. The students were selected from an applicant pool of 2,067 candidates and range in age from 19 to 44 years old. The mean MCAT score among the class was 505.23, while the average cumulative GPA for the incoming class was 3.55. In keeping with RVU’s continued support of military students, 10% of the incoming class are attending on the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program.