An explosion of emotions filled the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium as first-year students from the University of North Texas Health Science Center received their white coats. 

Every HSC student in the auditorium knew what this moment meant — the next milestone in medical school. 

“Receiving my white coat, to me, symbolizes the beginning of my journey along my path to become a physician,” 21-year-old Kaylee Bragg said. 

For Allison Solby, the emotions are a family affair. Her accomplishment transcended the 24-year-old and into her family. 

Solby was only 6 weeks old when her father, Dr. Steven Solby, received his white coat from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at HSC in 1999. 

Although she can’t recall her father’s ceremony, Solby has been exposed to medicine her whole life. Dr. Steven Solby is a practicing anesthesiologist in Mansfield.  

After graduating from Texas Christian University in 2021, she had no question about what path she wanted to take — HSC was the right choice. 

“There was nothing that I ever thought of in my life that I would do differently,” she said. “I naturally was drawn to medicine. I don’t know what field of medicine I want to go into, but I am interested in obstetrics, pediatrics, dermatology and anesthesia.” 

Allison Solby is excited to follow in her father’s footsteps at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Her father, Dr. Steven Solby, previously earned his white coat in 1999. (David Moreno | Fort Worth Report)

The Aug. 25 ceremony celebrated over 400 students from HSC’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Pharmacy and School of Health Professions. 

“It also comes with a great responsibility for each of these students,” Steven Bartolotta, director of communications at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, said. “They are the next generation of health care providers and this small rite of passage gives them the privilege of knowing they will soon be taking care of our communities.”

Still, Dr. Steven Solby never pressured his daughter into following in his footsteps. She has to carve her own path and accomplish her own goals, he said. 

“It’s her journey, it’s not easy to get through,” Dr. Steven Solby said. “She has to want to do it. It’s just great to see her hard work paying off.” 

David Moreno is the health reporter at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at or via Twitter.

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David Moreno is the health reporter at Fort Worth Report. Prior to the FWR, he covered health care and biotech at the Dallas Business Journal. He earned his Bachelors of Arts in broadcast journalism and...