The first White Coat Ceremony was held on August 20, 1993 for the entering class of Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons.
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.
The Gold Foundation supplies "Keeping Healthcare Human" lapel pins to students at all ceremonies,
which "serve as a visual reminder to students that in order to deliver
the best care to their patients, compassion and empathy must be the
hallmark of their clinical practice."