The White Coat Ceremony takes place during the formal convocation welcoming for first-year students at orientation. It includes recitation of a student oath and the presentation of white coats to each student as a symbol of entry into the medical profession.
Throughout a student’s degree program, they might glance down at the white coat and remember what they are training for. The next few years are leading to a lifetime as a medical professional, improving patient’s health and making innovations in the field.
During the ceremony, students recite the Medical School Oath, which expresses the students' commitment to excellence, professionalism, ethical behavior and compassion in ministering to the health and well-being of their patients. The oath reads as follows:
As we enter the medical profession,
We will become members of a larger community working together for the health and well being of our patients and society.
We will strive for clinical excellence, and we will employ our skills with compassion and dignity
We will use our individual backgrounds and our personal ethics to enrich all of your interactions but never as a basis for malice or bias.
We will respect the efforts of our mentors and peers, and we will not hesitate to ask for their guidance when needed.
We will honor the privacy of our patients, and we will maintain confidentiality appropriate to the doctor-patient relationship.
We will remember that to care for our patients, we must attend to our own well being in spirit, mind, and body.
We realize that medical education is a lifelong commitment that only begins today, and we choose to accept the high standards of honesty and integrity to which society will hold us accountable.