White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2014

Friday, August 6, 2010 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
A native of Nigeria who works with neurologically-challenged children, a teletrauma program coordinator who links UA trauma surgeons with rural hospitals in Southern Arizona and a candidate for a master’s degree who will give his presentation just hours before attending the White Coat Ceremony are among the incoming students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson who will participate in the 16th annual White Coat Ceremony, Friday, Aug. 6, 5 to 6:30 p.m., in Centennial Hall on the UA Main Campus.
Volker K.H. Sonntag, MDThe president of the first class to graduate from the UA College of Medicine (1971) will address the incoming Class of 2014. Neurosurgeon Volker K.H. Sonntag, MD, vice chairman emeritus, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, and professor of clinical surgery at the UA College of Medicine, will deliver the keynote address, “The Privilege to Care.” (For more information about Dr. Sonntag, visit the website, http://opa.ahsc.arizona.edu/newsroom/news/2010/phoenix-neurosurgeon-dr-volker-kh-sonntag-address-incoming-class-ua-college-medic) A reception immediately follows the ceremony on the Centennial Hall plaza.
(NOTE: The ceremony, which is for family and friends of incoming medical students, not the general public, will be broadcast live on the Internet at http://streaming.biocom.arizona.edu. Dr. Sonntag also will present the Neurosurgery Grand Rounds, Friday, Aug. 6, 8-9 a.m., in the Arizona Cancer Center’s Kiewit Auditorium; the talk, “The Frontier of Spinal Neurosurgery,” which is open to the public, also will be broadcast live and archived on the Internet at http://streaming.biocom.arizona.edu)
The UA White Coat Ceremony is sponsored in memory of Jeffrey T. Fulginiti by Shirley and Vince Fulginiti, MD, and their family.
As they embark on their quest to become the physicians of the future, 115 first-year UA medical students who will attend classes on the Tucson campus will recite their class mission statement and don white coats for the first time, acknowledging their entrance into the medical profession and the special bond they will have with patients, colleagues and teachers from the first day of medical school, Monday, Aug. 2. Each coat will have a “Humanism in Medicine” lapel pin, symbolizing a commitment to providing compassionate and competent patient care, provided by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (http://humanism-in-medicine.org).
Nearly 650 students were interviewed to fill the 163 slots in the Class of 2014 (115 on the Tucson campus and 48 on the Phoenix campus). The class includes 53 women and 62 men, with an average age of 24 (the oldest, in Tucson, is 33). The average grade point average is 3.69 (out of 4.0); and 13 percent are underrepresented minorities.
For many years, the UA College of Medicine admissions policy has been to consider only Arizona residents; highly qualified WICHE applicants from Montana or Wyoming; and Native Americans who reside on reservations contiguous with the state of Arizona. Beginning with the Class of 2014, highly qualified non-Arizona resident applicants from the United States or who have permanent resident visa status will be considered for as much as 25 percent of the incoming first-year class for each campus.
Interesting members of the Class of 2014 who will be available for interviews immediately prior to and following the White Coat Ceremony include:
George Hadeed, MPHGeorge Hadeed, MPH, 26, was born in Mesa, Ariz. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor of science degree in molecular and cellular biology in 2006 and a master’s degree in public health from the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health in 2008.
For the past two years, George has been a research fellow and coordinator for the Southern Arizona Telemedicine and Telepresence Program, which links trauma surgeons at the UA with seven rural hospitals in Southern Arizona. The program is one of the few in existence that brings live telepresence of trauma surgeons directly to rural hospitals in times of emergency through a series of computer networks and telemedicine systems.
George also has traveled to Kosovo and Macedonia as part of the International Virtual e-Hospital (IVeH) Foundation, founded and led by UA Professor of Surgery Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS, to develop and support the medical infrastructure in developing countries through the application of telemedicine and e-health. Most recently, the IVeH team secured a $750,000 grant through the U.S. Agency for International Development to begin development of the Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program of Albania.
Though not yet certain which area of medicine he’ll specialize in, George would like to apply the principles and practices of telemedicine to expand physician coverage into underserved areas.
Jolomi IyohaJolomi Iyoha, 23, was born in Benin City, Nigeria, and moved to Phoenix, Ariz., with her family when she was three. She attended Pinnacle High School in Phoenix and graduated from the UA in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in biosystems engineering.
The third of four girls, she is the first in her family to go to medical school. She comes from a family of nurses, including her mother and oldest sister and her second oldest sister who currently is attending nursing school. “I have the best family and extended family in the world. They have been supporting me every step of the way,” she says.
Jolomi’s desire to become a physician began during high school when her younger sister started having seizures. “It was a very tough period for my family,” she recalls. “We saw a lot of doctors during that time, and they were all very knowledgeable and wise but more importantly they showed us such great compassion and support. I soon realized that I wanted to do the same for another family going through their darkest hour.”
She is considering pursuing pediatrics because she loves working with children, although she is open to other areas of medicine. “One thing is certain – I plan on staying in Arizona after residency,” she says. “I’ve lived here for more than twenty years and I consider it my home.”
Ryan Martinez, MPHRyan Martinez, MPH, 29, was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa. After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in physiology, he pursued a master’s in public health policy and management at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health – he will give his internship presentation just a few hours before the White Coat Ceremony!
Ryan is the first in his family to attend college and will be the first doctor. His family encouraged him from childhood to do well in school.
When he was fourteen, he returned home from vacation with an appendix that had ruptured earlier that week, leading to infection. “I remember how great the staff were and how important my family and friends were to my recovery,” he recalls. “I left the hospital with a desire to understand how the body works.”
He hopes to become a surgeon and specialize in surgeries for children born with deformities in rural communities throughout Arizona.