KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) Class of 2013 will begin their first year of medical school with new student orientation Friday, August 21, and will continue orientation activities through Thursday, August 27.

Students will participate in a full schedule of orientation activities, including a welcome message by KCOM Dean Philip Slocum, D.O., ’76 on August 21; the President’s Barbeque at Thousand Hills State Park with ATSU President Jack Magruder on August 24; and the University’s annual Taste of Kirksville event, featuring area restaurants and caterers August 27 at the Thompson Campus Center. Classes begin Tuesday, August 25.

Perhaps the most important event for KCOM’s newest class of medical students is the Induction and White Coat Ceremony. The White Coat ceremony was established in 1996 and impresses upon first-year students the significance and symbolism of wearing a white coat. Students will receive their white doctor’s coat, as well as body-mind-spirit lapel pin. Held in conjunction with orientation, the ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 22, in Baldwin Hall Auditorium at Truman State University.

“The White Coat ceremony symbolizes the admission into a professional class,” said KCOM Dean Slocum. “Students then have a greater expectation to act in a professional way – for the University, it represents a symbolic welcoming into the family of ATSU-KCOM and physician practitioners in training.”

This year, 3,231 applicants vied for the 172 positions in KCOM’s Class of 2013. The class includes 109 men and 63 women representing 30 states as well as Canada and Japan. The class has an average science GPA of 3.4 and cumulative GPA of 3.5.