UTRGV holds first white coat ceremony for med school students

EDINBURG — Heart, respect, dignity, sensitivity and affection are the five qualities Dr. Francisco Fernandez hopes to instill in every one of the 55 students who dawned their white coats Saturday to become the first cohort of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine.

“Five commitments as part of your oath today that will be part of your professional code as physicians, and you will need to fine-tune them throughout your career,” said Fernandez, founding dean of the medical school, during the inaugural white coat ceremony. “Corazón, respeto, dignidad, sensibilidad y afecto … You will have to learn to feel for your patients will all of your hearts and show forgiveness and compassion. Their general welfare and that of their families is what is important.”

The ceremony was attended by family members who cheered on their future doctors, UT-System Chancellor William McRaven, UTRGV President Guy Bailey and elected officials, including Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, and Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, who eagerly awaited and contributed to the creation of the medical school.

“It was such an honor to watch them get fitted with their white coat,” Hinojosa said. “They will be the trailblazers for this medical school because they will set the example for the rest who will follow in providing leadership and showing other students here in the Valley and in South Texas that they too can become doctors if they so wish.”

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