Medical Students Receive First White Coats

Continuing Legacy from First Class 50 years Ago

Medical Students at White Coat Ceremony

The white coat is one of the most visible symbols of the health care provider. Incoming students for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine Class of 2023 took part in the White Coat Ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday (August 2) at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre, 1501 Mac Davis Lane.

Steven L. Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, said for many students, dreams of putting on the white coat begin the day they are accepted into medical school.

“The coat symbolizes that the years of hard work and dedication have been rewarded and that students have been invited into the prestigious profession of medicine, a privilege which comes with great professional responsibility.”

Medical students after receiving white coats

The new 180 TTUHSC medical students have a GPA of 3.78. The class includes students from schools across the country including Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Austin, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, Texas A&M University, Brigham Young University, Stanford University, Emory University—a total of 63 different undergraduate schools

Student receives white coat

“This is a competitive group of students,” said Felix Morales, M.D., TTUHSC School of Medicine associate dean of admissions. “Five thousand students applied and out of those, we interviewed 1,000. We are proud to have the best 180 of those studentscoming to join our School of Medicine family.”

Fifty years ago, the first class began with 36 freshmen. Berk said many doubted the school in West Texas would be successful. Today the School has 180 students per year, one of the 30 largest medical schools and is one of the top eight M.D. schools producing family medicine physicians.

Students after white coat

“TTUHSC School of Medicine provides an education with excellent metrics compared to schools around the nation, including the top 10 percent in student satisfaction and faculty satisfaction and a high board pass rate,” Berk said. “We have one of the lowest tuitions in the nation and are the sixth most affordable medical school. This new class will commit to lifelong pursuit of excellence in learning and acquiring scientific knowledge, clinical skills and capacity for compassion and continue to build on the legacy started 50 years ago.”

School of Medicine

School of Medicine

Since 1969, the School of Medicine has graduated more than 3,000 physicians. The school aims to provide quality lab space, recruit creative, innovative research faculty, and develop graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for lifelong careers in medical research.

Today, more than 20 percent of the practicing physicians in West Texas have graduated from the School of Medicine or its residency programs.