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132 Incoming Medical Students – Largest Class Ever – Begin Journey at Stony Brook
White Coat Ceremony launches medical school for first-year students from New York, eight other states and from around the world
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The Class of 2019 takes the Hippocratic Oath for the first time at the White Coat Ceremony.

Stony Brook, NY, August 25, 2015 – The 132 first-year students of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine Class of 2019 -- the largest ever in the school’s history -- officially began their training with the School’s annual White Coat Ceremony. At the August 23 event, the incoming medical students received their first physician-in-training white coat and took the Hippocratic Oath for the first time. 

The Class of 2019 is a talented and diverse group coming from New York State, eight other states, and from around the world. Only 7.4% of the total 5,255 applicants were accepted. A larger portion of students in this class compared to previous incoming classes already have advanced degrees. Twenty-three hold advanced degrees including one PhD, one Doctor of Pharmacy, 18 Masters and three Masters in Public Health. For more statistical information about the class, see this infographic:


Tony Wan, the son of Chinese immigrants, Tony enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps right after high school. He served two tours in Iraq - where his duties included providing first-aid to fellow soldiers. He then left the military and pursued college at CUNY-York College, where he graduated as class valedictorian in 2012. After seeing too many of his fellow Marines with life-changing injuries, he’s motivated towards becoming a neurologist specializing in traumatic brain injuries. Tony particularly wants to work to improve the care of veterans.
Among the many accomplished members of the Class of 2019 include:“Today is a celebratory and symbolic day for all of you. As you receive your first white coats, enjoy the honor and responsibility that comes with wearing the white coat,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine. “Medicine is a field unmatched in the range of emotions you will experience. You will be struck by many firsts – your first newborn delivery, your first sharing of a diagnosis of cancer, the first patient you will see cured, and your first patient death. And never forget that your journey will require life-long learning, as you take part in many advances in the art and the science of medicine in the years to come.”

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Dean Kaushansky with Class of 2019 members, from left: Persis Puello, Tony Wan, and Nicholas Tsouris. 

Persis Puello, a mother of two and the oldest incoming student at 34 years of age.  She holds advanced degrees from Columbia University (MS in Applied Physiology and Nutrition) and from Stony Brook (MS in Physiology and Biophysics). Her career as an athletic trainer and nutritionist inspired her to further her career in sports medicine by working towards becoming an orthopedic surgeon and eventually a team doctor.  She credits support from her husband and her sister for enabling her to raise her two young children (ages 3 and 8) while pursing the challenge of a career in medicine.

Nicholas Tsouris, who grew up in Stony Brook and is a former professional lacrosse player.  While attending Yale, he and a team of fellow students were hailed by Popular Mechanics magazine as "Backyard Geniuses” for their invention of a spoke-less bicycle.  After graduating from Yale, he worked on Wall Street while playing major league lacrosse, later deciding to pursue medicine. 

The School has steadily increased its incoming class size over the past several years in order to address the significant shortage of physicians nationally, as cited by the Association of American Medical Colleges

New to the ceremony this year was the presentation of a stethoscope for each student accompanied with their white coat. The School’s Alumni Association donated the 132 stethoscopes for the event.

About Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Established in 1971, the Stony Brook University School of Medicine includes 25 academic departments. The three missions of the School are to advance the understanding of the origins of human health and disease; train the next generation of committed, curious and highly capable physicians; and deliver world-class compassionate healthcare. As a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and a Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited medical school, Stony Brook is one of the foremost institutes of higher medical education in the country. Each year the School trains nearly 500 medical students and more than 480 medical residents and fellows. Faculty research includes National Institutes of Health-sponsored programs in neurological diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, biomedical imaging, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases, and many other topics. Physicians on the School of Medicine faculty deliver world-class medical care through more than 30,000 inpatient, 80,000 emergency room, and approximately 350,000 outpatient visits annually at Stony Brook University Hospital and affiliated clinical programs, making its clinical services one of the largest and highest quality on Long Island, New York.

To learn more, visit www.medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu.

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A group of new Stony Brook medical students display their first stethoscopes, donated by the School’s Alumni Association.