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 2021 White Coat Ceremony

Date: Friday, August 4th, 2017

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Location: Gaston Hall, Healy Hall

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


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.  


White Coat Ceremony RECORDING

Here is the 2016 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