SOM Office of Admissions and Recruitment

26th Annual 2021 White Coat Ceremony

Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 2pm

Moody Gardens Convention Center
Galveston, TX 77554


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.

26th Annual 2021 White Coat Agenda

 

Presiding
Ruth E. Levine, MD
Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions

President’s Remarks
Benjamin Raimer, MD, MS, FAAP
President ad interim

Alumni Remarks
Hugh N. West, III, MD, MBA 
President of the UTMB School of Medicine Alumni Association

Guest Speaker
Matthew Dasco, MD, FACS
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Presentation of Class of 2025
Honors Education Council

Declaration of Commitment

Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks
Music in Medicine
Student Organization

Closing Remarks
Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS, MBA
Executive Vice President, Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine

2021 White Coat FAQs

SOM White Coat FAQs

  • What does the white coat symbolize?

    The white coat represents leadership, professionalism, integrity, and commitment to helping patients. Since only a few medical professionals wear white lab coats, donning one also sets the wearer apart and indicates their position. In fact, the wearing of white coats began around the 1800s, when trained surgeons and physicians began wearing them to distinguish themselves from quack doctors who did not have training or practice evidence-based medicine.

    Many schools give students short white coats (rather than the full lab coat) for their white coat ceremony. The short coat symbolizes that the students are at the beginning of their journey to become doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and pharmacists.

  • When did the white coat ceremony start?

    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.

    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."

  • What is the Honor Education Council?

    The Honor Education Council is a UTMB School of Medicine student-run organization which was formed in 1990. The Council consists of three medical students elected from each class who serve four-year terms.

    Together with faculty advisors, the Council works to educate medical students and faculty on issues pertaining to the ethical behavior of physicians. It helps students develop an ethical decision-making process and promotes honor and integrity within the profession. Council members serve as class advocates for integrity and professionalism issues during both the classroom and the clinical years. The Council also provides a student forum for discussion of academic integrity violations and works with the School of Medicine administration to actively reduce academic dishonesty.

    Each year, the Honor Education Council works closely with the Office of Student Affairs to host the annual White Coat Ceremony.

  • Who will "coat" me?

    The Honor Education Council (HEC), made up of upper-class medical students, will safely "coat" the first-year medical students. Each HEC member will be fully vaccinated at the time of the white coat ceremony.

  • Who provides the white coat?

    Your SOM Alumni Association has a dedicated endowment, The Future Members Fund, that provides incoming students with their first white coat, honor council pin and any ancillary items needed for the White Coat Ceremony.

  • What is the Declaration of Commitment?

    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.

  • Where is the ceremony and how long is it?

    The Ceremony will be held at:

    Moody Garden Convention Center
    One Hope BLVD
    Galveston, TX 77554

    The ceremony typically lasts 1.5 hours long.

  • What time will the doors open for the event?

    The doors will open for both guests and students at 12noon.

    Class of 2025 should be at Moody Gardens Convention Center no later than 1pm for check-in and white coat distribution.

  • What is the recommended attire?

    Business Casual dress is required for medical students.

  • Can I bring guests?

    Each student can bring up to 6 guests to the White Coat Ceremony. All students and guests are required to have a ticket via the Eventbrite. We will email you and your guests an individualized QR code for entry into the event.

    Please keep in mind that tickets can only be received by email and that we cannot provide a QR code via a phone number, physical mail, or physical pickup. If your guests do not have an email, please create one; otherwise, your guest(s) will not be able to receive tickets and be unable to attend the white coat ceremony.

  • Can I bring a handbag, purse, and/or cell phone with me backstage?

    Students, please refrain from bringing handbags and purses with you to the ceremony. Whatever you bring should be able to fit in your pockets. More information will follow in a detailed email with white coat Ceremony Day instructions

  • Will there be a rehearsal for the white coat ceremony?

    Students will be given instructions for the day once they arrive at the ceremony.

  • Is there a reception afterwards?

    No.

  • Will students be individually recognized at the ceremony?

    Yes, each student will be announced and guided to cross the stage to be "coated".

  • Will there be professional photographs taken? Can we purchase these?

    Photos of the ceremony may be ordered online at: www.partypics.com, using password: wc21

  • Are masked required?

    Masks are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to be worn by every guest, student, faculty member, staff and volunteers.