The White Coat Ceremony
The White Coat Ceremony is an annual tradition marking the entree of a matriculating class of students into the medical profession. Traditionally during the ceremony, Georgetown University School of Medicine deans and faculty members cloak students in their first white coat as a symbol of the trust being bestowed upon them to carry on the noble tradition of doctoring. For 2020, the ceremony will be virtual.
Class of 2024 White Coat Ceremony
Friday, August 21, 2020
View on the GUSOM Facebook page
This year’s White Coat Ceremony will be led by our executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the school of medicine, Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH. Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, MBA, MACP, FAAP, FACR, dean emeritus, will deliver the annual Edmund Pellegrino Professionalship Lecture. Georgetown otolaryngology and pediatrics professor and Navy veteran Earl H. Harley, Jr., MD, FACS, FAAP, will administer the Hippocratic Oath.
The White Coat
The white coat of the medical student, the resident, or the physician can be many things to the wearer as well as to the beholder. It lends itself to diverse meanings, interpretations, and functions. It can be experienced as an almost magical conveyor of status, an index to the wearer’s place in the hierarchy of medicine. It can serve the utilitarian function of protecting the garments beneath it, while its pockets strain with instruments, pens, and small books.
Yet, the white coat is, first and foremost, a material symbol of the promise that its wearer has made to each and every patient whom he or she encounters: the promise to heal and to care. It will be four seemingly long (but actually quite short) years before you will become “full fledged” doctors. Nonetheless, today, in taking the Hippocratic Oath and thereby promising to heal and to care – and in symbolizing this promise by donning the white coat – you enter the profession of medicine.
Thank you to our alumni for generously donating the white coats to each incoming class!
White Coat Ceremony Recordings
Here is the 2016 White Coat Ceremony recording
Here is the 2017 White Coat Ceremony recording
If you have questions related to the White Coat Ceremony, please contact:
The White Coat Ceremony Planning Committee
For general questions related to First Year Orientation, we invite you to visit the event web page or contact:
The Office of Student Affairs