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The journey begins: White Coat Ceremonies welcome incoming Carver College of Medicine classes

Date: Thursday, July 28, 2022

Incoming MD, PA, and PhD students will soon be welcomed with ceremonies commemorating the next step of their health careers. Each student will be ceremonially cloaked with their white coat—or lab coat, for PhD students—by leaders of the college this August. 

Prior to the start of classes, each first-year MD and PA student at the Carver College of Medicine is assigned to one of four learning communities that will serve as their academic home for the entirety of their medical training at Iowa. Each learning community is comprised of an even mix of first-, second-, third-, and fourth-year medical students as well as students of the physician assistant program. The communities are designed to foster more peer-to-peer interactions, provide opportunities for leadership and service, and strengthen students’ relationships with faculty, collegiate staff, and others across campus. 

Aug. 4: Physician Assistant White Coat Ceremony

2:00 p.m. | Prem Sahai Auditorium, 1110 MERF

The Carver College of Medicine will hold its 17th White Coat Ceremony for first-year students of the physician assistant program. 

The event welcomes the Carver College of Medicine PA class of 2024, and it represents the first time these future physician assistants will recite the Physician Assistnt Oath, which lays out the ethical tenets of the profession.

The Class of 2024 by the numbers

25 students

  • 14 women

  • 11 men

  • 6 first generation college students

  • 18 non-residents

  • Average age: 27

Academic Profile  

  • 3.79 overall GPA

  • 76% Average GRE-Verbal

  • 80% Average GRE-Quantitative

  • 86% Average GRE-Analytical

Other Statistics 

  • 4,400 average health contact hours 

  • 345 average research hours 

  • 25 average shadowing hours 

Aug. 12: Doctor of Medicine White Coat Ceremony

3:00 p.m. | Hancher Auditorium

The Carver College of Medicine will hold its 28th White Coat Ceremony for first-year students beginning their medical education at Iowa.  

The event welcomes the Carver College of Medicine class of 2026, and it represents the first time these future physicians will recite the Oath of Hippocrates, calling attention to the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.  

Faculty representatives for each of the college’s learning communities—Bean CommunityBoulware CommunityFlocks Community, and McCowen Community—will introduce the students. 

The Class of 2026 by the numbers

152 students 

  • 84 women

  • 68 men

  • 16 first-generation college students

  • 101 from Iowa 

  • 51 from out-of-state 

Undergraduate Colleges: 

  • University of Iowa – 39 (25.7%) 

  • Iowa State University – 9 (5.9%) 

  • University of Northern Iowa – 2 (1.3%) 

  • Other Iowa Colleges – 24(15.8%) 

  • Colleges Outside of Iowa – 78 (51.3%) 


  • Undergraduate GPA Mean: 3.79 

  • Undergraduate GPA Median: 3.825 

  • MCAT Mean: 513 

  • MCAT Median: 513.5 

Aug. 19: Biomedical Science Graduate Program and Neuroscience PhD Program Lab Coat Ceremony

3:00 p.m. | Prem Sahai Auditorium, 1110 MERF

The Carver College of Medicine will hold its second Lab Coat Ceremony for incoming students of the Biomedical Science Graduate Program. The lab coat serves a functional purpose, but it also symbolizes the professionalism and education of these medical scientists.

PhDs by the numbers

25 students

  • 18 women
  • 7 men
  • 6 first-generation college students
  • 3 Iowa residents
  • 12 international students
  • Average age 24.8
  • Average cumulative GPA 3.48

Meet Our Students

Incoming students share their path to medicine and their hopes for the future.

Hend Al-Kaylani is a triplet born at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Her father was a neurology resident at Iowa when they found out they were expecting triplets, and those roots influenced Al-Kaylani's decision.

Jacob Bliss became interested in health care at a young age. His mother is a 30-year nurse and unit-based educator in an intensive care unit, and he grew up attending unit meetings and skills trainings by her side. Six months studying abroad in Botswana made him decide to become a physician assistant.

After seven years working in a health care setting, Rodney Berry is not new to the world of medicine, but now he’s ready to take his impact on patients’ lives to the next level. “My mission in life is to serve others. That’s where the most meaning and purpose is,” Berry says.

Stephanie Meza is excited to learn about Iowa’s communities and how she can leverage her own experience to help Iowans. “The challenges I went through developed in me an ability to find a way out of no way," Meza says. “It’s given me the confidence and tenacity to solve problems that seem unsolvable.”

Azariel Coss likes taking things apart and putting them back together. He enjoys tinkering with electronics and recently built his first gaming computer from scratch. This fall, he’ll apply his analytical skills to medical school. “I always liked breaking stuff down, seeing how it worked—which probably wasn’t fun for my mom,” Coss says. 

Sierra Sheets’ interest in medicine began at a life-changing visit with her own medical provider when she was in high school. “She gave me a listening ear, not just about my physical checkup but truly listening to any problem I had going on,” Sheets says. “The first time you feel heard is a big moment."

Yumeng (“Yumi”) Engelking grew up in Chaozhou, a small city in southeast China. At the age of 11, she developed a disorder that caused significant hair loss. Though the illness wasn’t life threatening, it was detrimental to her self-image, and that experience has shaped the way she views specialty care in medicine.

Though many of Adriana's family members in Puerto Rico are in medicine, she only began to imagine herself in a health career after a professor inspired her to pursue it. Then, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.