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128 New Students Launch Journey into Medicine
White Coat Ceremony for incoming class symbolizes professionalism, scientific excellence and compassion
Part of the incoming Class of 2018, of which only 6.7 percent of more than 5,000 applicants were accepted.

Stony Brook, NY, August 29, 2014 – The Stony Brook University School of Medicine Class of 2018 officially began with the School’s annual White Coat Ceremony, an event that is designed to emphasize the professionalism inextricably linked to the practice of Medicine. Each of the 128 new Stony Brook medical students received a physician-in-training white coat and took the Hippocratic Oath for the first time.

Seventy-Seven percent of the incoming students are from New York State, a high percentage that will help to address the significant shortage of physicians in the state. Nine other states are represented, as are 69 colleges and universities. The Class of 2018 is a highly accomplished one academically, and the acceptance rate of the class was only 6.7% out of 5,454 applicants.

For a statistical breakdown of the Class, see this Infographic.


Four of the 128 incoming students don their white coats for the first time at Stony Brook Medicine. From left: Pedro Perez, from Miami, will begin an MD/PhD program; Philip Yune, from Queens, NY, holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering; Samita Mohanasundaram, from Nashua, NH, has an MA in Environmental Science and Public Policy and will pursue environmentally oriented medicine; and Thomas Holowka, from Tompkins, NY, who has a PhD in Microbiology from Yale University. 

“Medicine is a team sport and requires lifelong learning,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine, when addressing the Class of 2018. “Work hard, learn all the medicine you can, and enjoy the challenge and responsibility that comes with wearing the white coat.”

The science of medicine was also well represented today. The Class of 2018 has more students (18) with advanced degrees, such as PhD and MPH, than any previous incoming class at Stony Brook. "As Medicine in the 21st century is becoming increasingly focused on translating basic medical research into new diagnostics, prognostics and treatments,” said Dean Kaushansky, "Stony Brook Medicine is well positioned to train not only the next generation of clinicians  but also the ‘bilingual’ physician-scientists who will translate their science into new medicines.”

One student, Samita Mohanasundaram, from Nashua, NH, who received a BA and MA from Harvard University in Environmental Science and Public Policy, has studied environmental toxins, mainly pesticides, and links to leukemia. She decided to attend Stony Brook because of its depth of research programs and broad clinical offerings.

“I discovered Stony Brook is an integrated facility and medical school in a great location,” said Mohanasundaram. “This kind atmosphere and collaboration is so important in medicine and one where I know I will learn a lot.”

Philip Yune, from Queens, NY, and an immigrant from South Korea, worked in industry before he could pursue his lifelong dream of Medicine. Yune said the PhD he received in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute helped to understand more about chemical processes, and he is now looking forward to applying that knowledge in a different way studying the human body.

Yune and Mohanasundaram joined their new classmates to celebrate the start of their Medicine journey in hopes of finding what clinical field intrigues them the most and how they can apply their research interests and experiences to that field.

“Take these four years to find your passion, and then work to champion that,” encouraged Walter E. Wilson, Jr., Class of 2015, who delivered the Student Address. “You will learn a lot of science, but you will also learn the art of medicine and what it takes to be healers.”


The Class of 2018 takes the Hippocratic Oath for the first time at the White Coat Ceremony.



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