The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the Class of 2018 with a “white coat” ceremony on Aug. 21. The event, which follows four days of orientation activities, marks an important transition in their lives since students are considered part of the profession in veterinary medicine, according to Cyril Clarke, BVSc, Ph.D., dean of the veterinary college.
“This important event marks and celebrates the induction of trainee veterinarians into a very distinguished profession, a profession that was founded on service to society and advancement of medical knowledge,” Dr. Clarke said.
The white coat is a symbol of the science-based nature of the profession as well as a reminder that students have been given the rare opportunity to become veterinarians, Clarke noted.
About 250 family, friends, faculty and staff members, and guests attended the ceremony where the students received a white laboratory coat and a stethoscope. Representatives from the Virginia and Maryland Veterinary Medical Associations were also in attendance.
More than 1,400 prospective students applied for 120 available seats, representing the third-largest applicant pool in North America, according to figures from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Many of the students also self-identify as minorities, and about 30 percent of them are male, an increase from previous years, according to the college.
The Class of 2018 spent the first week of orientation learning the nuts and bolts of how the college operates, but they also had some fun along the way, according to the college: