MD White Coat Ceremony
White Coat Ceremony
Oct. 29, 2021
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The White Coat Ceremony is the culmination of an intensive orientation program that welcomes incoming medical students to Washington University and the medical profession.
Incoming medical students describe starting medical school during a pandemic. For the entering class of 2020, entry into the medical profession also coincided with the debut of a new curriculum that focuses on academic excellence, individual development and social justice.
The symbol of a profession
At the White Coat Ceremony, incoming students receive their white coats from School of Medicine faculty members, then take an oath — one they have written as a class — pledging honesty and integrity in their practice of medicine. Family and friends are invited to witness as students take their first symbolic step into the medical profession.
The White Coat Ceremony at Washington University is supported in part by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which works with students and professionals to instill a culture of humanism in medicine. Humanism in medicine is characterized by respect, dignity and compassion for patients, with sensitivity to the diverse values and backgrounds of others.
Photos and stories
Select a year below to see photos, videos and more stories from past White Coat Ceremonies.