Former SUU students enter U of U Medical School

Five former students at Southern Utah University received their medical white coats at the University of Utah School of Medicine (UUSOM), signifying the start of their journey to become physicians.

Weston Smith (Midvale, UT), Ty Anderson (St. George, UT), Alexandra Montoya (Herriman, UT), Alyssa Brown (Magna, UT) and Spencer “Bub” Lindsay, (Cedar City, UT) are all proud members of this year’s UUSOM class of 2021. During medical school, each student will complete didactic curriculum, clinical rotations, and a full residency in their area of specialty.

All students were members of the SUU Rural Health Scholars program. Through this program, each student completed volunteer work with underserved populations, exposure to local patients, physician shadowing, undergraduate research, and leadership opportunities.

The White Coat Ceremony, held on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City, serves as a representation of the high ethical standards that each medical student agrees to, including reciting the Hippocratic Oath. Friends and family were present for the ceremony, including Karen Ganss, Assistant Director and Pre-Health Advisor for these students in Rural Health Scholars at SUU.

“I can’t express how proud I am of each of these students in their hard work while at SUU and strong dedication to a future in health care. They serve as great representatives of SUU, Cedar City, and all of rural southern Utah,” Ganss said in reflecting own her experiences with these students.

The School of Medicine at the University of Utah is highly competitive, with a class size of only 125 students. When compared with their about 4,000 applications they received for fall 2017, it is quite an accomplishment to be accepted. This program combines excellence in teaching, research, and clinical expertise to successfully train tomorrow’s physicians for the rapidly changing world of medicine. More details can be found online at

Several college opportunities for these students were made possible by the SUU Rural Health Scholars (RHS) program, which provides additional services for students interested in careers in health care. This program is available at Southern Utah University, Dixie State University, Snow College, and Utah State University-Eastern in Price. Services assist students in becoming successful applicants to medical, nursing, podiatry, dental, pharmacy, and other health professions programs. Student applications are strengthened through a regimen of classes, seminars, community service, job shadowing, research and advisement. For more information about the Utah Center for Rural Health programs, contact Ganss at 435-865-8660 or visit

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