White Coat Ceremony
Participating in NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony marks the beginning of your career in medicine. In bestowing the white coat—a symbol of professionalism, compassion, and honor—our deans and faculty are setting standards for you to uphold on your journey to becoming a physician. During the ceremony, physician speakers recount experiences from their medical careers, emphasizing humane and ethical aspects of the profession. You are then called to receive your white coat.
History of the White Coat Ceremony
Medical students traditionally take the Hippocratic Oath at the end of medical school, even though they see patients during their training. In response to this discrepancy, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation established the White Coat Ceremony in 1993 as a rite of passage for incoming medical students to affirm their professional commitment and to acknowledge their primary role as caregivers.
Intended to establish a psychological contract for the practice of medicine that emphasizes the importance of compassionate care, a White Coat Ceremony or similar symbolic rite of passage takes place each year at more than 93 percent of U.S. medical schools.