Harkness Auditorium was aflutter with nervous excitement on August 25 as the Class of 2013—or “2014 or somewhere in that vicinity,” joked Dean Robert J. Alpern—gathered for this year’s White Coat Ceremony. The 99 students in the class include 46 women and 53 men, 25 graduates of Harvard and Yale, 19 members of ethnic or racial groups underrepresented in medicine, and 18 persons born outside the United States. The group’s average MCAT score was 11.9 per section, the highest in the school’s history. The average GPA was 3.78. “It’s an exceptionally talented and accomplished group,” said Richard Silverman, director of admissions.

Thomas J. Lynch, who came to Yale from Harvard last year to head Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, spoke to the new students on the theme of connection—connection among classmates, connection with faculty, and “since today is your White Coat Ceremony,” connection with patients. “Remember how profound and wonderful the career you’ve chosen is,” Lynch said. “I’m someone who feels incredibly privileged and lucky to be a doctor. And I think all of you will come to that, regardless of what type of medicine you end up practicing.”