White Coat Ceremony
Friday, September 14, 2012, 3:30 p.m.
on the Campus Green Watch it Live
Keynote Address: JudyAnn Bigby, MD
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Unlike some academic events that encompass centuries of tradition, the White Coat Ceremony was initiated by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation on August 20, 1993, at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, where Dr. Arnold Gold has been a teacher and pediatric neurologist for more than 40 years. Currently, a White Coat Ceremony or similar rite of passage takes place at more than 90 percent of schools of medicine and osteopathy in the United States, as well as at all four medical schools in Israel.
The event emphasizes the importance of both scientific excellence and compassionate care for the patient. The cloaking with the white coat—the mantle of the medical profession—is a hands-on experience that underscores the bonding process. The white coat is placed on each student's shoulders by individuals who represent the value system of the school and the new profession the students are about to enter.
At the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in the presence of family, guests and faculty members, incoming first-year medical students are welcomed into the medical community and presented with their white coats by their Learning Community mentors. The first White Coat Ceremony here took place in 2010.
We are grateful to members of the School of Medicine Class of 2012 for their gift of white coats for the Class of 2016.
Check back here the day of the event to access the link to a live webcast. Click here to purchase the DVD. Click here to purchase photographs of the White Coat Ceremony.