LUBBOCK, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – It was a very special day down in Lubbock as first-year medical students received their white coats for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine.
“It doesn’t matter what your dream is, don’t back down from it make sure to pursue it,” said Jessica Sutterfield, a first-year medical student.
180 students chosen from 5,000 applicants of incoming students for theTexas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine were able to put on the white coats and step forward into the field of medicine.
“It’s a symbol that they are joining the profession of medicine and really taking on all the responsibilities that mean to start thinking about putting patients first and to respect autonomy and confidentiality and pledge to lifelong self-learning, so it is very symbolic, said Dr. Steven Berk, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine dean.
Dr. Berk said this is a celebration of these students.
“It has another meaning in the covid era because at one point we weren’t sure if anybody wanted to go to medical school, but it turned out more students applied to medical school this year than ever before and that includes a lot of non-traditional students,” said Dr. Berk
One of those non-traditional students, Jessica Sutterfield, an Amarillo business owner said the white coat is just the beginning of her journey.
“So the process to get to today is the end of several years, but in my mind, it’s really the beginning. It’s the first step forward in becoming a colleague in the field of medicine,” said Sutterfield.
Sutterfield said her family is cheering her on every step of the way.
They love me, they support me. My sister, I’m very close to my sister. Our parents, our mother and our father died this year of covid. My dad first and my mom just three weeks later, so our eight that we have. My sister’s family and my family are all that we have, and they have really supported me on this journey,” said Sutterfield.
Sutterfield said she will spend two more years in Lubbock and then she will finish up her time in Amarillo, where she would like to up open her own practice.
Dr. Berk said this class has many diverse backgrounds including students who come from 49 different schools, including Princeton University, Tufts University, UCLA, and the University of Washington.
He added 90 of the students are from the West Texas area with 55 of those from Texas Tech University.