The White Coat Ceremony

White Coat 2018 Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony is an annual tradition marking the entree of a matriculating class of students into the medical profession. 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.

Class of 2023 White Coat Ceremony

Friday, August 2, 2019
3:30 pm
Gaston Hall, 3rd Floor of Healy Hall building

Livestream Link

Given the limited space in this historic Georgetown location, each student will be provided 2 guest tickets for the ceremony (incoming students don’t need a ticket). Additional tickets will be available through a lottery system. We recommend all incoming students to check their GU Email address for communications surrounding the lottery in mid-July.

The ceremony will be broadcasted live for additional guests in the Harvey Proctor Amphitheater on the first floor of the Medical-Dental Building (first come, first serve seating). Your out-of-town loved ones and biggest fans are invited to watch the livestream via the link above.

Free parking is available in the Southwest Garage. Guests must indicate that they are there for the Medical School White Coat Ceremony and you must give the attendant a parking pass which will be distributed during orientation. The address to put into your GPS device of choice for the SW Garage is 3611 Canal Road NW.

Reception to follow on the Podium at the back of the Medical-Dental Building

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