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USD Sanford School of Medicine Welcomes 71 Students at White Coat Ceremony

Image White Coat Ceremony 2015 White Coat Ceremony

The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine welcomed 71 first-year students, the largest class ever, to the state's only medical school during its annual white coat ceremony.

The July 22 event in Sioux Falls featured remarks by medical school leaders and the traditional presentation of a physician’s white coat to each student. Family members and friends accompanied the students and helped them mark the formal start to their medical school training.

Sixty students in the class of 2019 graduated from high schools in South Dakota, and 30 of them (42 percent) come from communities with populations of fewer than 10,000. Three of the students are enrolled in the school’s M.D./Ph.D. program.

Mary Nettleman, M.D., dean of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, saluted the incoming students for their admission and provided perspective on their new responsibilities. “The white coat program is where we acknowledge that these students are now more than just students,” said Dr. Nettleman. “They are now physicians in training. And society places expectations on physicians that are fairly weighty. We recognize that these expectations are valid and important, and we embrace those expectations as these students enter this profession. This event is really the beginning of their professional careers.”

The first-year students, their hometown and high school:

South Dakota

Aberdeen (Roncalli High School) – Angelina Gould; Box Elder (Douglas) – Hanna Distel, Cody Tidwell; Brandon (Brandon Valley) Erik Manke, Matthew Larson; Brookings – Ryan Jorgenson, Katherine Kondratuk, Nicholas Pekas;  Canistota – Luke Fuhrman; Chamberlain – Sarah Fisher; Deubrook – Daniel Parr; Elk Point (Elk Point -Jefferson) – Benjamin Staum; Faulkton – Breann Bowar, Susan Wik; Fort Pierre (Stanley County) – Joshua Rogers; Harrisburg – Ruthellen Anderson; Hartford (West Central) – Anna Bahnson, Jake Johnson; Huron – Erik Burnison;  Lennox – Keegan Mechels; Milbank – Nicole Buchele; Mission (Todd County) – Carol Whitman; Newell – Ethan Pauley; Parkson – Abigail Wegehaupt;  Phillip – Alexander Brech; Pierre (TF Riggs) – Amber Olson, Kayla Pochop; Plankinton – Matthew Gerlach; Rapid City (Central) – Kristin Belsaas, John Chandler, Nicholas Purcell; (Saint Thomas More) – Liam Duffy; (Stevens) – Brody Brisk, Eric Habbe, Skye Lawlor, Daniel Pfeifle, Sierra Schepper, Nathan Zvejnieks; Sioux Falls (Christian) – Emily Wynja; (Lincoln) – Rebecca Jarratt, Samuel Jensen, Joseph Kolba, Collin Noldner, Nathan Wunder;  (Bishop O’Gorman) – Elliot Czarnecki, Spencer Edman, David Meisinger, Taylor Meyer, Jessica Sundleaf, Abbey VanDenBerg, Zachary Weber;  (Roosevelt) – Ryan Shogren; (Washington) – Bradley Eichhorn, Joshua Hanscom, Tania Padilla; Spearfish – Jillian Draine; Sturgis – Nicholas Goodhope; Volga (Sioux Valley) – Alexander Sellers; Watertown – Emily Endres; Wolsey (Wolsey-Wessington) – Rebecca Runge


Ross (The Branson School) – Emily Storm


Eaton – Jordan Needens


Indianapolis (Franklin Central) – Janice Baumberger


Harlan – Luke Lansman


Adrian – Brian Hokeness; Cottonwood (Lakeview) – Sean Pickthorn; Edgerton – Alex Heard; Fridley (Totino Grace) – Mark Larson; Plymouth (Wayzata) – Steven Donahue


Lincoln (Pius) – Erin Terpstra


Holmen – Kristopher Johnson

White Coat Ceremony from Usd Social on Vimeo.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News