Seen Coated

Winter 2018

  Josh Ong and his mom. Photography: Mike Drazdzinski/University of Pittsburgh
Since 1998, the School of Medicine has celebrated its incoming class with a ceremony marking their entrance into the medical profession. In what has become a rite of passage, the students are bestowed a crisp white coat (donated by the Medical Alumni Association) and lots of congratulations. This year, the August ceremony, held at Carnegie Music Hall of Pittsburgh, was positively resplendent. Seen at the affair: members of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Pittsburgh Opera companies (all of whom performed); Dean Arthur S. Levine and other Pitt Med luminaries; KDKA-TV news anchor Susan Koeppen (who relayed the story of how two med students helped save her life in 2011—lifesavers Vanessa Franco and Ranmal Samarasinghe, both MD/PhD ’12, joined her at the event); and ceremony hosts and main sponsors, orthopaedic surgery chair Freddie Fu (MD ’77, Fel ’79, Res ’82) and Hilda Pang Fu. 

But the real stars of the show were the 162 matriculating students. We invited them to take turns posing as Pitt Med cover models at our pop-up photo booth. We’re only able to show a few shots here. But as you’ll see on these pages, the docs-to-be didn’t want to leave out the people who helped them get this far. Among our most popular coverlines: HI MOM!   —Erica Lloyd

They’ve worked with NASA and Mount Sinai. They’ve volunteered for the Hospital Elder Life Program at Shadyside and HIV programs in South Africa. They’ve run marathons and anatomy courses. And they’re all ours. Meet the Class of ’22. Levi Bowers’s (top row, second from left) sister, Eve Bowers, is in the Class of ’21. Their grandfather LeRoy Bowers (MD ’51) also went to Pitt Med. Read his story here.
That DR. WHO in the fourth row is Victoria Humphrey (Class of ’21), who, btw, was Miss National Sweetheart 2016 and runs a nonprofit called Apples 4 Education. She’s with her mom. Speaking of . . . the HI MOM-er in the fifth row is Stephanie Thermozier (Class of ’20), who, like many other students, cheered on the newly coated. You can’t beat the White Album remake (right of Humphrey) featuring Freddie Fu and grandkids Ludivine and Lex (Class of TBD). 
Lois Wholey, Melonie Nance, Hilda Pang Fu, and Freddie Fu.       (Photo courtesy F. Fu.)