White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2021 at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson welcomes 120 students into the Class of 2021 during the College’s 23rd annual White Coat Ceremony on Friday, July 21, 5 to 7 p.m., in Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., on the UA Main Campus.

The colorful ceremony is designed to honor new medical students as they accept the responsibility of the doctor-patient relationship. Each student will receive their first white coat, thanks to the generosity of UA College of Medicine – Tucson alumni, faculty and friends. Donors also provided each student with the funds to purchase a stethoscope.

In addition, each white coat has a Humanism in Medicine pin that symbolizes a shared commitment to providing compassionate and competent patient care. The pins are provided as a gift from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, initiators of the first White Coat Ceremony in 1993.

Kathryn L. Reed, MD, a member of the UA College of Medicine Class of 1977 and professor and head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, will deliver the keynote address, “Learning Codes.”

Students in the Class of 2021 include:

  • Three students pursuing dual medical and doctoral degrees in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s MD-PhD Program, designed to train students planning careers in academic medicine or biomedical research.
  • Ten graduates of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s P-MAP (Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway) program, a 12-month, full-time, intensive medical school preparation program created in collaboration with the UA Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Students in the program earn a master’s degree in cellular and molecular medicine. The program is open to Arizona residents who faced educational and/or economic disadvantages and who are first-generation college students; students who grew up in rural or U.S./Mexico border communities or are registered members of federally recognized tribes.
  • Aaron Dion Bia, MS, a Navajo student whose grandfather is a medicine man. Bia completed two UA Health Sciences medical and research training programs, BLAISER and P-MAP, earning a master’s degree in cellular and molecular medicine from the UA.
  • Phillip Belone, a Navajo student and UA graduate whose volunteer experience at a Tucson urgent care facility in high school led to his decision to become a physician.  
  • Joshua Gormley, a married father of four who sold his home and ownership of a real estate/residential construction company to fulfill his passion for medicine.
  • Joshua Paree, a UA graduate who is first in his family to graduate from college who changed majors from ecology and evolutionary biology to neuroscience after his coursework introduced him to human physiology and he realized the opportunity medicine provided to help people in an active way. 
  • Maya Sarihan, Miss India America 2014, a classical Indian dancer/singer, a UA graduate whose mother is a pediatrician and whose two sisters are alumni of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
  • Siddhant Talwar, a UA grad, was born with beta thalassemia, a blood disorder that reduces the production of hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. People with the disorder are at an increased risk of developing abnormal blood clots and life-threatening anemia. He and his family started a foundation to raise awareness and provide resources for others.
  • Beverley Trutter, MPH, MS, was born in Zimbabwe and moved away from her family to the U.S. to pursue her passion for medicine. She has a master’s degree in public health from the UA and then was admitted into the P-MAP program where she earned a master’s in cellular and molecular medicine.        

Facts about the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2021:

  • Applications received:  7,218
  • Students accepted into the program: 120
  • Demographics: 57 women and 63 men. Underrepresented students in medicine make up 26.7 percent of the class.
  • Arizona residents: 80 students (69 percent of the incoming class)
  • Average GPA: 3.64
  • Average science GPA: 3.54
  • Graduated from the University of Arizona: 50 (undergraduates)

About the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is celebrating 50 years of innovation and advancing health and wellness through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and across the United States. Founded in 1967, the College ranks among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care and is leading the way in academic medicine through its partnership with Banner – University Medicine, a new division of one of the largest nonprofit health-care systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

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