White Coat Ceremony
The involvement of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation in what we now call the White Coat Ceremony actually began at commencement exercises at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, where Dr. Arnold Gold has been a teacher and pediatric neurologist for more than forty years.
As he witnessed Columbia's graduation ceremony each year, Dr. Gold became aware that the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath, when students accept the obligations of our profession, comes four years too late. It is during medical school that students experience their initial contact with patients and establish their professional orientation. The Foundation believes that medical students should be given well-defined guidelines regarding the expectations and responsibilities appropriate for the medical profession early in their education and training. This is what inspired the Foundation to begin advocacy and sponsorship of what has become the White Coat Ceremony.
The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for beginning medical students to help establish a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in the practice of medicine. The event 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 early in their first year of medical school; hear an inspiring address by a distinguished guest keynote speaker; and 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. The University of Maryland School of Medicine has held White Coat Ceremonies since 1997.
Copyright © 2001-2004 Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Reproduced from the P&S Student Handbook, 2002-2003, VI. THE CURRICULUM with permission.
Adapted from the Gold Foundation. Used with permission.
White Coat Ceremony Faculty Speakers
|2020||Class of 2024||Dr. George Willis|
|2019||Class of 2023||Dr. Kimberly Lumpkins|
|2018||Class of 2022||Dr. Sandra M. Quezada|
|2017||Class of 2021||Dr. Devang M. Patel|
|2016||Class of 2020||Dr. Nirav Shah|
|2015||Class of 2019||Dr. Mickey Foxwell|
|2014||Class of 2018||Dr. Kathryn Hart|
|2013||Class of 2017||Dr. Neda Frayha|
|2012||Class of 2016||Dr. Joseph Martinez|
|2009||Class of 2013||Dr. Robert Rogers|
|2008||Class of 2012||Dr. Gina Perez|
|2007||Class of 2011||Dr. Richard Colgan|
|2006||Class of 2010||Dr. Albert Reece|
|2005||Class of 2009||Dr. Thomas LangDr. Gary Plotnick|
|2004||Class of 2008||Dr. Donald Van Wie Dr. Meredith Bond|
|2003||Class of 2007||Dr. Carol Tacket Dr. Toby Chai|
|2002||Class of 2006||Dr. James McNamee Dr. Gary Plotnick Dr. Robert Redfield Dr. Ligia Peralta|
|2001||Class of 2005||Dr. Jordan Warnick Dr. Jay Perman|
|2000||Class of 2004||Dr. Larry Anderson Dr. Nancy Lowitt Dr. Andrew Malinow|
|1999||Class of 2003||Dr. Gary Plotnick Dr. Miriam Blitzer Dr. Shawn Robinson Dr. Richard Taylor|
|1998||Class of 2002||Dr. Marshall Rennels Dr. Eve Higginbotham Dr. Selvin Passen|
|1997||Class of 2001||Dr. Susan Wolfsthal|