White coat ceremony rite of passage for medical students

The LSU Health Sciences Center School of Medicine will hold its annual White Coat Ceremony on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the Holy Cross High School Student Center, 5500 Paris Avenue. This year, 188 second-year LSU Health Sciences Center medical students will receive a white coat, a visible symbol of patient care. During the ceremony, students are “coated” by faculty members chosen by the class for their commitment to medical education and their students.

According to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation which has donated a Humanism in Medicine lapel pin for each student, the cloaking with the white coat—the mantle of the medical profession—is a hands-on experience that underscores the bonding process. The coat is placed on each student’s shoulders by individuals who believe in the students’ ability to carry on the noble tradition of doctoring. It is a personally delivered gift of faith, confidence and compassion.

In some schools, the white coat marks the students’ entrance to clinical medicine; but  since clinical education for LSUHSC medical students begins in their first year, the LSUHSC White Coat Ceremony signifies the students’ increased contact with patients and patient responsibilities which expand during their sophomore year.

A tradition begun at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans’ School of Medicine in 1997, following the coating, the class will recite its Oath of Ideals. Each class develops its own Oath of Ideals.