Campus Life: Student Affairs
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Main: (301) 295-3185
FAX: (301) 295-1967
Did you know
Like most universities with medical programs, USU celebrates a time-honored tradition called The White Coat Ceremony. The event, which has become a rite of passage for students, takes place near the end of the first academic year. Donning the robe, the ultimate symbol of their profession, represents each student's induction into the world of medicine.
The Office for Student Affairs hosts numerous events and ceremonies throughout the four-year medical program. Some of these programs are informative, others celebrate major academic milestones.
Read on to learn more about the major annual events sponsored by the Office for Student Affairs.
Two different student orientations are conducted each year.
Students entering the School of Medicine arrive on campus after completing service-specific orientations at various locations. The full week prior to the beginning of classes is supervised by the Office for Student Affairs to provide time for in-processing and an orientation to USU, the School of Medicine, and student programs.
Orientation week for new students culminates with the Presentation Ceremony. This ceremony is an official induction into life as a medical student, and the Oath of Hippocrates is administered to all students. Family is invited to attend the Presentation Ceremony. Students returning for the second year of medical school participate in a two-day orientation during the week prior to beginning classes.
Since 1989, an Annual Awards Collegium has been conducted in the Fall to recognize academic achievement and excellence demonstrated by medical students in multiple areas of involvement during their undergraduate medical education.
Since the first USUHS SOM class graduated in 1980, the University has recognized academic achievement and excellence in leadership demonstrated by students during their undergraduate medical education. To this end, an awards program for graduating seniors is held each spring. There are several awards available each year.
White Coat Ceremony
The White Coat Ceremony is held to issue the widely recognized white coat of the doctor to medical students as they complete their first year of school. Far beyond the simple issuance of the white coat, this event provides an opportunity to pause for a short time in the busy academic curriculum and reflect on the awesome responsibility students will soon have as physicians in the care and treatment of patients. The white coat probably best symbolizes the profession. Issuance of the coat is one step toward assuming their new identities and the responsibilities they entail. It's a timely reminder of why the students are here and what they are striving to become.
The Host Program provides applicants invited to USUHS for an admissions interview with lodging at the home of a USUHS student the evening prior to the interview. The intent of the program is to better acquaint the applicant with the school, its program, and its students, and to reduce costs associated with travel for the applicant.
A host will:
- a. Contact the applicant to arrange for visit.
- b. Meet the applicant at a mutually agreed time and place upon the applicant's arrival in the area.
- c. Provide overnight lodging for the applicant the evening prior to the interview. The itinerary for the evening is flexible and left up to the host. The host is not expected to pay for anything.
- d. Ensure that the applicant is at USUHS by 0800 hrs the next morning.
An applicant will:
- a. Return the completed reservation sheet to the Office for Student Affairs as soon as possible after receiving an invitation to interview.
- b. Make alternative arrangements if travel plans include spending more than one night in the Washington area, bringing spouse/family members, and/or host student is not available for the applicant's interview date.
Military personnel arriving at installations are often assigned sponsors to assist the service members and their families during the relocation process. Since 1991, USUHS has required sponsorship programs for both permanent party personnel and students assigned to the University. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs was given the responsibility of establishing and maintaining a Student Sponsor Program for new medical students.
A sponsor is usually a first-year student who will be assigned an incoming student as a sponsoree. The sponsor acts as a point of contact for questions related to USU and will meet with the sponsoree during Orientation week.