For immediate release: July 24, 2007
GALVESTON, Texas - About 230 School of Medicine students will don white coats in a ceremony at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as they begin their medical careers.

At the event Aug. 20, UTMB students will help each member of the incoming class of 2011 put on medical white coats in a rite of passage that is a symbolic and literal welcome into the medical profession. 

"The white coat ceremony means so much to the students," said Dr. Garland D. Anderson, dean of the School of Medicine. "When they put their white coat on, you can see it in their faces, the realization that they are on their way to becoming a doctor. I am grateful to the alumni of UTMB whose generosity makes this ceremony possible."

Dr. Lauree Thomas, associate dean for student affairs and admissions, said the white coat ceremony symbolizes many things. "To me, it's symbolic of patient care, trust, the alleviation of pain and suffering. It's symbolic of hope. It's symbolic of the aura of the medical profession."

During the ceremony, to be held at 4 p.m. in William C. Levin Hall, outstanding students and faculty members will be honored for their accomplishments.

The white coat ceremony is a relatively new tradition that started in 1993 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City. The concept of a white coat ceremony was started by Dr. Arnold Gold, a professor at Columbia. The idea spread quickly and more than 90 percent of schools of medicine and osteopathy now have some sort of white coat ceremony. 
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Public Affairs Office
301 University Boulevard, Suite 3.102
Galveston, Texas 77555-0144