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New UTRGV medical residents to don white coats in special ceremony


  • WHAT:  
Medical White Coat Ceremony, followed by a Reception
  • WHEN:  
Monday, June 22, ceremony at 4:30 p.m.
Reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • WHERE:  
Regional Academic Health Center
2102 Treasure Hills Blvd.

The White Coat ceremony starts at 4:30 p.m. at the RAHC and will be open to the media. Immediately following the ceremony, media may conduct interviews in a special area set aside for television and print. Both Dean Francisco Fernandez and Dr. Yolanda Gomez will be available for interviews. In addition, some medical residents have been selected for interviews in both English and Spanish.

Wearing the symbolic white coat for the first time is a pivotal rite of passage for medical students and residents around the country, and on Monday, June 22, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley welcomes its #FirstMatch medical residents on Orientation Day.

Dr. Francisco Fernandez, founding dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine, which currently is undergoing accreditation, said this ceremony is the beginning of a renaissance in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Starting here and starting now, our resident physicians will learn that how care is delivered is as important as what care is delivered,” Fernandez said.

“We have the best opportunity to make a difference for our community with our new residents. Their work as doctors in hospitals and clinics across the Valley will serve to expand healthcare access in a unique partnership with our hospital partners.”

This year, 42 new residents join the Valley community for rotations at three area hospitals: 10 in internal medicine at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen; six in family medicine at McAllen Medical Center; and 26 at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, with 12 in internal medicine, six in family medicine, four in obstetrics and gynecology, and four in general surgery.

They hail not just from around the United States, but also from Mexico, Jamaica, Jordan and Peru.

VBMC and MMC currently have at total of 27 residents who already have started their residency programs through The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and were transferred to UTRGV as of July 1.

The new medical residents were selected March 20 on Match Day, when a computer-based selection process “matched” each medical student to a hospital with a residency program. The hospitals, and surrounding communities, will be their homes for the next three to five years while they are in training.

“All our residents will start this chapter of their lives on July 1,” said Dr. Yolanda Gomez, UTRGV associate dean of graduate medical education. “We welcome all of our new residents to the Rio Grande Valley as they take the first steps into a medical career. We look forward to having them be a part of our growing medical community.”


For more information on UTRGV, visit the website at, like its Facebook page, or follow @utrgv on Twitter.   


Marci Caltabiano-Ponce, UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications

Jennifer McGehee-Valdez, UTRGV Director of Public Relations