Meet some of our incoming students before their white coat ceremony


New medical, business administration and doctoral students will soon be welcomed with ceremonies commemorating the next step in their healthcare careers. Each student will be ceremoniously dressed in their white coats — or lab coats, for doctoral students — by college leaders in August.

Some of the new students sat down to share their journey to medicine and their hopes for the future.

Meet Hend Al-Kaylani

Hend Al-Kaylani isn’t the only member of his family to experience a milestone this fall. A triplet born at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Al-Kaylani pursues her dreams alongside her brothers, who are studying law and business analysis. His father was a neurology resident in Iowa when he and his mother found out they were expecting triplets, and Al-Kaylani says those roots influenced his decision to apply to Carver College of Medicine.

Meet Jacob Bliss

Jacob Bliss first applied to the Physician Assistant (PA) program at UI Carver College of Medicine right after completing his undergraduate studies, but his first round of applications were unsuccessful. Although it’s a setback, he’s glad he had the chance to gain more experience before his PA studies. He chose Iowa not only because of the PA program’s high rankings, but also because he admired the way the program was integrated with the MD program.

Meet Rodney Berry

After seven years working in a healthcare setting, Rodney Berry is not new to the world of medicine, but he is now ready to take his impact on patients’ lives to the next level. Berry will join UI Carver College of Medicine in the Physician Assistant (PA) program this fall.

Meet Azariel Cross

Azariel Coss didn’t apply to med school right after graduating from undergrad, like many pre-med students do. He took the opportunity at a dermatology clinic to gain valuable healthcare experience. Coss says the experience he gained working in the health care setting before applying to medical school has given him clearer expectations for what patient care will look like as a doctor.


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