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Student Ceremonies and Events


New student orientation consists of a mandatory week full of topics to equip students with information needed to begin medical school. Topics include the patient-centered learning case process, introduction to the curriculum and value domains, student policies and procedures, introduction to student services, and an introduction to student health and well-being. Orientation to medical school and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is a one credit course. Orientation week takes place the last week of month of July.

VTC Students and Hokie Bird
The Class of 2023 participated in their White Coat Ceremony on Friday, October 18, 2019.

White Coat Ceremony

The purpose of the ceremony is to clarify for students, prior to their entrance into the medical community, that a physician’s responsibility is to both take care of patients and also to care for patients. In other words, doctors should care as well as cure. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation designed the White Coat Ceremony to welcome entering medical students and help them to establish a psychological contract for the practice of medicine. The event emphasizes the importance of compassionate care for the patient as well as scientific proficiency and includes several elements:

  • Welcome to the profession of medicine by the dean and faculty
  • Recitation or discussion of an oath (such as the Hippocratic Oath or a student-written oath), which represents the public acknowledgment by the students of the responsibilities of the profession and their willingness to assume such obligations in the presence of family, friends, and faculty
  • Cloaking of students in their first white coats
  • An address by an eminent physician role model

Student Clinician’s Ceremony

The Student Clinician's Ceremony is designed to provide guidance, information, and support as medical students transition into their clinical years. The ceremony also recognizes outstanding residents through the Gold Foundation's Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award. Third-year students choose up to six residents who have exhibited particularly strong teaching skills and are role models for compassionate, relationship-centered care. A keynote speech by a prominent and humanistic physician role model is followed by a reception for students, faculty, friends, and family. A reception occurs immediately after the ceremony. The Student Clinican's Ceremony is scheduled in May of each year. 

Brandon Temel has his arms raised in jubilation and Michaela has her hands behind her head as they celebrate their match as a couple.
Michaela Pesce (right) and Brandon Temel learn that they matched as a couple at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. They are the first VTCSOM students to match there.

Match Day

Match Day is designed to inform fourth-year students of the location and clinical area in which they will begin their residency. This celebration is the culmination of four years of study. Envelopes are handed out indicating the residency that matched with each student via the National Resident Matching Program. Match Day occures in March of every year


Commencement for the Class of 2023 is occures the first Saturday in May.