A Chinese student who struggled for nearly a year to get a passport when she tried to leave China, a former culinary arts teacher, a coffee shop owner who helped establish an emergency room in Uganda, a Peace Corps volunteer and a college rugby player are among the 117 incoming students at the UA College of Medicine-Tucson who began their quest to become the physicians of the future at the 18th annual White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 10.
The Tucson campus Class of 2016 includes 63 women and 54 men, ranging in age from 21 to 41. Seven of the students are Hispanic, and one is Native American (Salt River Pima). The UA College of Medicine-Phoenix White Coat Ceremony was held July 27.
“This ceremony, held in the presence of family, friends, colleagues and teachers, marks the students’ entrance into a family of individuals who will teach, support and work beside them throughout their educational experience,” said Dr. Steve Goldschmid, UA College of Medicine-Tucson dean and co-CEO of The Univeristy of Arizona Health Network.
“The white coat symbolizes their responsibility as physicians to put their patients’ interests first. It represents personalized medicine not based on genes but on compassion.”
During the ceremony, the students recited their class mission and vision statement, which they prepared to affirm their values as future physicians. Each student signed the statement as they came on stage to don white coats for the first time, acknowledging their entrance into the medical profession and the special bond they will have with patients, colleagues and teachers from the first day of medical school, which was Aug. 6.
Each white coat has a "Humanism in Medicine" lapel pin, symbolizing a commitment to providing compassionate and competent patient care, provided by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.
Dr. Christian J. Moher (UA College of Medicine Class of 1999), a family physician with Carondelet Medical Group in Tucson, and the team physician for the Tucson Padres Triple A baseball team, delivered the keynote address, “Evidence-Based Humanism.”
Moher serves on the board of his medical group and on the credentials committee for Carondelet Health Network. He is lead physician for his clinic’s Patient Centered Medical Home Project, working closely with United Healthcare. He also serves on the board of the Children’s Museum Tucson.
He and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Moher (UA College of Medicine Class of 1999), have two children, Liam, 11, and Eliza, 9. “I play a lot of basketball and enjoy hiking and traveling with my family,” he says. “I am an aspiring writer, and several years ago made a short movie with a friend of mine that found its way into several smaller film festivals.”
He recently was featured in an article on the UA College of Medicine alumni website.
His father, Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Moher, is assistant dean for student affairs at the college and a professor in the department of family and community medicine.