Friday, September 20, 2013, 3:30 p.m.
Albert Sherman Center 1st Floor Atrium
Keynote Address: Oscar E. Starobin, MD
Inaugural recipient of the Chancellor's Medal for Clinical Excellence (2012)
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 and 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. At the University of Massachusetts Worcester, in the presence of family, guests and faculty members, the white coat is placed on each student's shoulders by two people: an individual significant in the student's personal and/or professional development, chosen by the student, and the student's Learning Community mentor, who represents the value system of the school and the new profession the students are about to enter.
The first White Coat Ceremony for the University of Massachusetts Worcester took place in 2010.
We are grateful to members of the School of Medicine Class of 2013 for their gift of white coats for the incoming Class of 2017.