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. 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.

Class of 2025 White Coat Ceremony

Date: Friday, August 6, 2021

Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT (Doors will open at 3:40 p.m.)

Location: Georgetown University McDonough Arena
(Visitors should use 3611 Canal Road NW as the address when mapping directions using GPS)

A live broadcast will be accessible through the School of Medicine Facebook page (no account required).

Parking: We anticipate that the Southwest Garage on the main Georgetown University campus will have limited availability for parking. Visitors can enter the garage from Canal Road and pull a ticket from the gate dispenser to enter the garage. Upon exiting, visitors can pay by credit card at the exit gate. Once parked in the Southwest Garage, visitors can walk to McDonough Arena.

Ticketing: In light of COVID-19 safety measures, each student will receive two guest tickets for the ceremony. (Students do not require a ticket for entry.) 

All guests for this event will need to comply with Washington DC’s travel guidance and the University’s public health and masking guidelines at the time of the event, which at present requires all guests to wear a mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.

We welcome our esteemed physician guests to participate as “coaters” onstage during the White Coat Ceremony. Please indicate your interest using this registration form (must be an MD). PLEASE NOTE: As participants in the ceremony, all guests who will serve as “special coaters” onstage to coat their student during the ceremony must be fully vaccinated (two weeks after final shot).

If you have any questions or special circumstances regarding the White Coat Ceremony, please contact the Office of Student Affairs: 

Sponsor a White Coat

Support the Class of 2025 by sponsoring white coat and leaving a note of encouragement for one or more of the incoming students!

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! 

For general questions related to First Year Orientation, we invite you to visit the event web page or contact The Office of Student Affairs,, 202-687-3116

White Coat Ceremony Recordings

Here is the 2017 White Coat Ceremony recording

Here is the 2016 White Coat Ceremony recording