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Welcome to the Medicine Class of 2021 from Dr. Gary Tithecott


As August winds down, another academic year is upon us.

Change is upon all of our Classes.

This past week, the Medicine Class of 2019 learners experienced their introduction week to Clerkship, and the Medicine Class of 2018 will begin their fall clinical elective learning at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, in partner Canadian medical schools and internationally.

On August 29, we welcomed our newest medical learners at the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry White Coat Ceremony. This ceremony is a highlight each year in the Doctor of Medicine program for our incoming undergraduate medical students, their families and close friends. It offers an opportunity to welcome each student to our School and University while they share a morning of symbolism with white coat cloaking and oath taking. Through this special event, all learners can begin to understand what it means to be a member of the medical profession.

White coat ceremonies are an important component of most North American medical schools, dating back decades. Timing varies from the first curricular day to entrance in clerkship, though our School has traditionally chosen the start of each new incoming class academic year for our Ceremony. To those of you in the Medicine Class of 2021, welcome and congratulations for choosing Schulich Medicine & Dentistry at Western University as your new home. The next four years will move fast.

We promise to support your success through continuously helping you to achieve personal and professional growth.

In this Program, you will form lifelong relationships and learn the value of working within and leading in teams. This is the key unit of health care.

You will learn from and with leading educators, researchers, clinicians, residents and student colleagues.

You will be welcomed to moments of joy and sorrow in the private life of patients and their families.

You will advance all skills in the domains or program competencies of being a well-rounded physician – Expert, collaborator, communicator, scholar, leader, advocate and professional.

You will improve your skills in problem solving and learn to identify and meet the needs of patients.

You will contribute to new knowledge or policies and processes in health care and medical science. These will change the lives of some or many. Each will make a difference in advancing patient care and the science in our profession.

Key to your success will be an ability to balance demands by establishing priorities and access resources our School and University offer.

Thank you to the leaders in the Medicine Class of 2020 for taking the time to share your experiences during orientation week and committing to acting as peer mentors throughout the upcoming academic school year to the incoming medical learners. Your wise advice will help the Medicine Class of 2021 transition into their first year of school and provide them with tips as to how they can strive to achieve professional and personal success.

Supports for your academic and personal needs exist in London and Windsor. Just reach out and ask.

Your success will be infinitely better by establishing a core group of class peers for support and co-learning, while maintaining a personal balance with sleep, nutrition, exercise, personal interests, extracurricular learning, community service and linking with family and close friends.

Establish priorities for each.

Remember at all times what supported your successful candidacy for our program and vow to retain and advance these relations.

At all times feel free to contact any student colleague, faculty educator, and mentor or program leader. We are all here for you.  

White Coat is the start of a career where, in your own way, you will reshape how care is understood, governed, delivered and improved for Canadians and others across the globe. To each new member of our profession in the Medicine Class of 2021 and your families – welcome. Congratulations on your achievements and best wishes for a successful School year.

Dr. Gary Tithecott,

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education