MU School of Medicine holds white-coat ceremony for Class of 2019

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COLUMBIA - The MU School of Medicine presented its class of 2019 with white coats Friday to mark the start of their medical careers.

Linda Headrick, MU School of Medicine senior associate dean for education, said the medical students will serve others and impact others' lives, and the white coats are only the beginning.

"We want them to always think about the first time they put on this important symbol as student physicians and remember their pledge to carry forward our values of care and compassion," Headrick said in a statement.

At the ceremony at Jesse Auditorium, MU faculty and a fourth-year medical student spoke about what medical students can expect. Then, faculty members called the names of the class of 2019 members and helped them put on their white coats.

The class of 2019 has 104 students. That will increase to 128 in 2017, with the opening of the Patient-Centered Care Learning Center, a $42.5 million building for which MU officials broke ground July 9.

Of the 104 students, between eight and 12 will spend their last two years of medical school at a new clinical campus in Springfield.