Last Friday I attended a White Coat Ceremony at the Duke University School of Medicine.
Almost all medical schools in the USA have a White Coat Ceremony for their first year students. I do not know if other countries have a ceremony like this. It is a ritual that marks one’s entrance into medical school.
(On a side note: It is very difficult to get admission to any medical school in the USA. The admission standards are very high and extremely competitive. First, you must have a four year bachelor’s (undergraduate) degree. Then you need to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) Exam. The MCAT score will be sent directly to the medical school to which an individual has applied. In addition to academic excellence, these schools are looking for leadership, service, compassion, and team work. Once you’re admitted to medical school, then you have to study for four more years to obtain an MD degree. After you have obtained the MD degree, you have to be Board certified.)
Now back to the White Coat Ceremony. Just one word – IMPRESSIVE!
I was so impressed with this ceremony at Duke, that I thought I should blog about it.
116 students were admitted to Duke’s medical school this year. All were in attendance, and they attended the ceremony with their family and friends. The university arranged a reception for all of the incoming students, as well as their family and friends. Plenty of hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks were provided.
While everyone was seated in the auditorium, senior doctors and deans were up on stage. The new 116 students arrived in procession and took their seats.
The Vice Dean, Medical Education, gave the welcome address. The Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs spoke about “Becoming a Duke Doctor in 2017”. An Associate Dean explained the “Symbolism of White Coat”.
Then each student’s name was called so they can come up on stage. Once on the stage, each student was assisted by a senior faculty member into his/her white coat for the very first time. Then all the students took the “Class Oath”.
Closing remarks were provided by the Vice Dean, Medical Education.
Afterwards all of the students, as well as their family and friends socialized for a while. There was clear happiness in everyone’s face.
Here are some photos from the occasion.
Senior Faculty on Stage
Assisting a Student into her White Coat
Taking Class Oath