MD Class Of 2023 begins studies at SMHS with White Coat Ceremony

Seventy-seven first-year medical students, members of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) Class of 2023, began their journey this week to become physicians at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (UND SMHS).

Medical students’ first week is dedicated to orientation, including an introduction to UND’s nationally recognized, four-year, patient-centered learning curriculum where biomedical and clinical sciences are taught in the context of an interdisciplinary educational setting. Special emphasis is placed on students’ new roles and expectations of them as health professionals.

Orientation concludes with the White Coat Ceremony at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9, in the Alerus Center Ballroom, 1200 S. 42nd St., in Grand Forks where students receive their first white coats, the physician’s traditional garment, which have been donated by the North Dakota Medical Association. Students will also recite the Oath of Hippocrates, a vow physicians have been taking for more than 2,000 years to uphold basic ethical principles of the medical profession. Each student will receive a lapel pin, donated by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, engraved with the phrase “Humanism in Medicine.”

David Skorton, M.D., president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), a not-for-profit association whose membership is comprised of all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 Canadian medical schools and nearly 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, will give the keynote address, titled “My White Coat Journey…and Yours.”

After the ceremony, the School will host a dinner for students, family, and friends at the Alerus Center.

The 31 women and 46 men, ranging in age from 21 to 34 years and most of whom are from North Dakota, come to medical school with experience in an array of fields, including: biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, business, chemistry, medical laboratory science, psychology, science education, Spanish, and zoology.

Many of these first-year students already hold advanced degrees, including master’s degrees in biomedical science, pharmacology and physiology, and public health.

“The donning of the white coat symbolizes the very special social contract that exists between society and health care providers,” added Joshua Wynne, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., vice president for health affairs at UND and dean of the School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “Although much has changed in medicine since I was a medical student years ago, one thing that has not changed—thankfully—is that sacred relationship between doctor and patient. The white coat remains a tangible symbol of the trust that patients bestow in their doctors. And the White Coat Ceremony is a reminder that that trust must be earned—and re-earned—each and every day by every health care provider.”

MD Class of 2023 Names and Hometowns:

  • Mitchell Annis, Corcoran, Minn.
  • Collin Asheim, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Hannah Balderas, Twin Buttes, N.D.
  • Heidi Bau, Slayton, Minn.
  • Summer Bernard, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Ryan Bjerke, Fargo, N.D.
  • Kirsten Bokinskie, Fargo, N.D.
  • KC Braaten, Minot, N.D.
  • Peter Bueide, Fargo, N.D.
  • Therese Carson, Fargo, N.D.
  • Brett Cornforth, Rochester, Minn.
  • Natisha Corum, Grafton, N.D.
  • Allison Cwikla, Fargo, N.D.
  • Danielle Dearing, Athena, Ore.
  • Erin Eidsness, Moorhead, Minn.
  • Caleb Ellingson, Jamestown, N.D.
  • William Fedje-Johnston, Grand Rapids, Minn.
  • Mitchell Floura, Paynesville, Minn.
  • Chase Gauthier, Elk River, Minn.
  • Rylan Graber, Wolford, N.D.
  • Sarah Grindberg, Mapleton, N.D.
  • Emily Grob, New Ulm, Minn.
  • Olivia Harris, Upper Fruitland, Minn.
  • Liana Haven, Maple Grove, Minn.
  • Alex Hecker, Dickinson, N.D.
  • Leesha Heitkamp, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Mikaela Herberg, Mandan, N.D.
  • Brandi Hoffart, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Christy Jesme, Northfield, Minn.
  • Annabel Jiran, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Merrick Johnson, Moorhead, Minn.
  • Sa Kong, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Wyatt Lautt, Harvey, N.D.
  • Wyatt Limke, Carpio, N.D.
  • William Litchfield, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Cooper Love, Park City, Mont.
  • Jonah Lund, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Talus McCowan, Manhattan, Kan.
  • Alexandria McLearen, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Zachary Miller, Williston, N.D.
  • Timothy Moore, Rochester, Minn.
  • Brandon Morehart, Fargo, N.D.
  • Judge Muskrat, Webbers Falls, Okla.
  • Jessica Nelson, Minot, N.D.
  • Ann Marie O’Connell, Edina, Minn.
  • Kayla Olson, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Tracer Overland, Williston, N.D.
  • Amanda Palme, Brooklyn Park, Minn.
  • Mikayla Patel, Jamestown, N.D.
  • Devon Pekas, Hawley, Minn.
  • Anne Pius-Stewart, Nigeria
  • Zain Qarni, Fargo, N.D.
  • Mishell Quiridumbay Verdugo, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Cody Riggle, Ogema, Minn.
  • Parker Rosenau, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Keaton Rummel, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Karan Saravana, Fargo, N.D.
  • Justin Schafer, Mandan, N.D.
  • Natalie Scherr, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Zachary Sebens, Milnor, N.D.
  • Anja Selland, Rugby, N.D.
  • Jordan Shearer, Fargo, N.D.
  • Seth Sherlock, Dazey, N.D.
  • Kalvin Slaubaugh, Leeds, N.D.
  • Oliver Sogard, Williston, N.D.
  • Michael Solc, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Jacob Stern, Rosemont, Minn.
  • Luke Teigen, Fargo, N.D.
  • Wyatt Telken, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Mitchell Thelen, Albany, Minn.
  • Drew Thompson, Moorhead, Minn.
  • Nadia Toumeh, Fargo, N.D.
  • Cody Weisel, Alexandria, Minn.
  • Sarah Wherley, Velva, N.D.
  • Joseph Wood, Custer, S.D.
  • Marissa Wold, Maplewood, Minn.
  • Morgan Zander, Fargo, N.D.