White Coat Ceremonies Welcome Students to Sint Maarten and Preston
As the fall semester gets underway, I am excited to welcome our newest cohort of students into the AUC School of Medicine family. It’s been a particularly exciting and eventful start as the inaugural class begins study at our new U.K.-based program in Preston, UK. I am proud of our growing international presence and our commitment to produce compassionate and socially accountable physicians around the world.
New students’ arrival was marked by the traditional White Coat Ceremony in both Sint Maarten and the UK. Walking across the stage, each student donned their white coat for the first time—many with friends and family proudly watching from the audience. As events concluded, students in both locations took the same oath to uphold the values and professional expectations of a physician.
We are joined this semester by students from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom who hold citizenship in 15 different countries across five continents. They bring a wide array of knowledge and experience—many pivoting to medicine from a previous career. With backgrounds in advertising, biology, business, criminal justice, psychology and health policy (to name a few), it’s clear that this class brings unique and important perspectives to our academic programs.
In Sint Maarten, Dr. Ali Alikhani, a 2013 graduate, delivered the White Coat keynote address. Speaking from experience, he urged students to put in the work while remaining open to new friendships and opportunities.
“I bet on success and was able to achieve it, both with AUC's tremendous support and my own hard work,” he said. “I met great friends along the way, ones who will always be close to me. And for that, I am grateful. We all did it together. We did the long haul -- the many hours, days, weeks, months and years to get to where we all are, and you all will too.”
Heidi Chumley, MD, MBA