The first White Coat Ceremony was held on August 20, 1993 for the entering class of Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons. The Honor Education Council, with the support of the dean of medicine, introduced the White Coat Ceremony to UTMB in 1996. The purpose of the ceremony is to welcome the incoming medical students and to introduce them to the profession of medicine while stressing the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. As the students don the symbolic white coat, they accept responsibility for acquiring and maintaining the knowledge and skills necessary to care for patients and commit to provide treatment in a compassionate and respectful manner. In the presence of faculty, classmates, family, and friends, each student pledges to act with honor, integrity, and selflessness when dealing with patients and colleagues. As a final testament to professional integrity, the ceremony closes with the recitation of the student-conceived Declaration of Commitment.
Declaration of Commitment
Used for the White Coat Ceremony at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Adopted from the Declaration of Geneva and the International Code of Medical Ethics.
At the time of beginning Medical School;
I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the services of humanity;
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due;
I will develop my skills with conscience, dignity and integrity;
The health of my patients and myself will be my first considerations;
I will honor those things that are confided in me;
I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
My colleagues will be my comrades;
I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standings to intervene between my duty, my peers and my patients;
I will maintain the utmost respect for human life and I will not use any medical knowledge contrary to Law;
I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.