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OHSU School of Medicine welcomes M.D. class of 2019

146 students to embark on their medical journey during White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Aug. 14

WHAT: OHSU School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2019
WHEN: Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, 10 a.m.
WHERE: PSU Stott Center, 930 S.W. Hall Street, Portland, OR 97201
WHO: OHSU medical students, Class of 2019, their families and OHSU faculty
DETAILS: Entering student-physicians will be “cloaked” in their first white coat in front of family, friends and faculty.

Media planning to attend should contact Tracy Brawley, 503-494-8231;

Oregon Health & Science University will celebrate its 128th School of Medicine M.D. class with a White Coat Ceremony symbolizing the beginning of each medical student’s journey to becoming a physician. The event will take place on Friday, Aug. 14, at 10 a.m. in Portland State University’s Stott Center.

The OHSU School of Medicine class of 2019 is characterized by a diverse group of students, all of whom have distinguished themselves in both the health care field and various other notable areas. Comprising 81 percent Oregonians, this incoming class includes cattle ranchers, biomedical engineers, nurses, robotic assemblers, teachers, artists, emergency medical responders and more.

“It is an exciting time to enter the medical profession,” said George Mejicano, M.D.,senior associate dean for education, OHSU School of Medicine. “As we look toward a new era in health care – one that embraces technology, health care reform and personalized medicine - these new student-physicians have the unique opportunity to positively shape the health care system for future doctors and patients alike.”

The White Coat Ceremony will include remarks from Tracy Bumsted, M.D., M.P.H., associate dean for undergraduate medical education, OHSU School of Medicine. Robert Englander, M.D., M.P.H., will deliver the annual J.S. Reinschmidt, M.D., Lecture – a special message to the students presented by a guest speaker.

“We are proud to welcome the class of 2019 to the OHSU family,” said Mark Richardson, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the OHSU School of Medicine. “Over the course of their medical school career, these qualified students will become well-prepared to embrace the ever-evolving landscape of medicine and provide the highest quality care, research and discovery across Oregon and beyond.”

Meet the Class of 2019

Following are select profiles of incoming medical students and a brief description of their journey to a career in medicine:

Eric Eddy
When Eric Eddy, 41, dons his white coat for the first time, it will be the culmination of a lifelong dream. As a child, severe asthma kept Eric in the pulmonologist’s office, where he and his family formed a close relationship with his physician during the course of his treatment. Eric grew up wanting nothing more than to become a doctor. However, with few role models and little support, Eric chose a different path in electronics manufacturing and robotic assembly. The dream of becoming a physician never went away.  

After nearly 20 years in his field, Eric reversed course. At 37, the Portland, Ore., native returned to school at Portland State University and became the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Eric is confident his life experience will serve him well in medical school. “My hope is that I can find the intersection between my life experience and my medical training. I am particularly interested in the work that is being done with advanced prosthetics and with robotic aids for physical rehabilitation.” 

Nick West
A 25-year-old native of Imbler, Ore., Nick West spent his childhood building fences and branding cattle. As the son of northeast Oregon rancher/lawyer, and the grandson of a Montana physician, Nick developed joint passions for medicine and rural life. The crystalizing moment came when Nick was a freshman at Oregon State University: “At my grandfather’s funeral numerous people stood up and told amazing stories about his compassion and kindness. I knew then that I could pursue both my interest in science and give back to the rural community by becoming a physician like my grandfather.”  

For Nick, OHSU School of Medicine was a natural choice. “Growing up in Eastern Oregon, OHSU is regarded as this holy place, almost like the Emerald City of Oz! Terribly sick or injured friends and family would be whisked away to OHSU and healed. I can’t say when OHSU became the top medical school choice for me because I had always considered it the ‘best of the best,’” he said.  

While at OHSU, Nick wants to find a hands-on research project that will allow him to investigate the health care challenges facing rural communities. He hopes to return to northeast Oregon to practice medicine someday.

Andrea Nuñez Morales
Andrea Nuñez Morales, 22, has first-hand experience with the linguistic and cultural barriers that can impact health care. As a young adult, she served as de facto medical interpreter for her non-English speaking family members. With those formative experiences in mind, the Independence, Ore., native pursued pre-med studies at Willamette University, where she also became an emergency medical responder and augmented her studies by participating in pre-med programs like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, and the OHSU Summer Equity Research Program. 

She’s glad to be returning to OHSU, this time as a medical student. The reason Andrea chose the OHSU School of Medicine is two-fold. She noted: “I’m impressed by OHSU’s commitment to diversity and by its new curriculum.” As Andrea looks toward the future, she hopes to help break down the barriers she saw when she was young. “I hope to put my Spanish to good use by practicing somewhere where I can help Hispanic families receive quality health care,” she said.

Nichole Tyler
Nichole Tyler, 25, of Newcastle, Wash., spent her childhood accompanying her father, a family practice physician with the Indian Health Service, on his rounds. Despite these formative experiences, Nichole struggled to find a way to unite her interest in medicine with her other loves: engineering and mathematics. Eventually she settled on a degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Washington, where she studied the way applied engineering principles could be used to address issues in medicine.  

Nichole found the final piece of the puzzle in the most unlikely of places. After college, she volunteered as a researcher in Haifa, Israel, at the Baha’i Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She said, “Volunteering was the most beautiful and rewarding experience of my life. I met people from all over the world and reflected on how I wanted to serve humanity.” 

As a student in the joint M.D. and Ph.D. program, Nichole looks forward to the opportunities presented by OHSU’s integrated medical and research curriculum. In her joint program, she will further focus on bioengineering, training she hopes to leverage to address diabetes and related health issues. “Diabetes will soon be a global health crisis. I’ve seen it impact both my friends and family,” she said. She also hopes to continue her ethic of service by working in international health and with the urban underserved.

Profile of OHSU School of Medicine Class of 2019

Total number of first-year students = 146 
Female = 80 
Male = 66

Highest degree at entry 
Baccalaureate = 129 
Master’s = 16 
Doctorate = 1

Oregon residents or Oregon heritage = 118 
Degree programs: 
M.D. = 115 
M.D./M.P.H. = 3  

Non-resident = 25 
Degree programs:  
M.D. = 13 
M.D./M.P.H. = 4 
M.D./Ph.D. = 5 

Age (mean) = 26


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