It all got started on July 30 with Roll Call in the historic Egyptian Building when Senior Associate Dean for Admissions Michelle Whitehurst-Cook, M'79, called the names of 184 new students and told them, "A lot of work went into building this class. Now the weeding out is over. We're going to rely on one another and get through medical school together. We are a family."

Orientation week culminated in the White Coat Ceremony, held Friday, Aug. 3, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Hundreds of family and friends gathered to watch the students don their first white coats.

The ceremony's keynote speaker Kim Sanford, M'01, H'06, shared with the students her own take on Robert Fulghum's time-tested advice on the lessons we learn in kindergarten. "It's like we're in primary school all over again," said the associate professor of pathology who was honored last fall with the medical school's highest teaching award, the Enrique Gerszten, M.D. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. "Remember to wash your hands before you eat. And Especially after you start anatomy!"

She encouraged them with a promise: "We'll teach you a new vocabulary and a new set of skills. We'll teach you to collaborate and to work as a team. That's important not only in school, but also when you go out to practice medicine."

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