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White Coat Ceremony - Gold Foundation Description

The White Coat Ceremony "rite of passage" for beginning medical students to help establish a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in the practice of medicine. The event emphasizes the importance of both scientific excellence and compassionate care for the patient and includes several elements: students are cloaked in their first white coats; recite the Hippocratic Oath (or other similar oath) in the presence of family, friends and faculty members before they even begin their formal medical education; hear an inspiring address by a distinguished guest keynote speaker; celebrate at a reception with their loved ones. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation White Coat Ceremony was initiated on August 20, 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York. Grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1996 and 1997 made advocacy for these events possible. The Gold Foundation currently supports the ceremony at more than 100 schools of osteopathy and medicine throughout the U.S. as well as at all 4 medical schools in Israel. In addition, another 20 or so schools have developed an alternative event similar to or based on The Gold Foundation's ceremony.


Adapted from the Gold Foundation
Used with permission