Traditions at Medical College of Georgia
White Coat Ceremony
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation White Coat Ceremony welcomes entering medical students and helps establish a psychological contract for the practice of medicine. The event, emphasizing compassionate patient care and scientific proficiency, includes:
- Recitation of an Oath of Service and Responsibility representing public acknowledgment of the responsibilities of the profession and students’ willingness to assume such obligations in the presence of family, friends and faculty
- Cloaking of students in their first white coats
- An address by an eminent physician role model
- A reception with students’ invited guests.
At the ceremony, students are welcomed by their deans and other institutional leadership who represent the value system of the school and the new professionthe students are about to enter. The cloaking withthe white coat – the mantle of the medical profession– is ahands-on experience that underscores the bonding process.The coat is placed on each student’s shoulders by individualswho believe in the students’ ability to carry on the nobletradition of doctoring. It is a personally delivered gift offaith, confidence, and compassion.
A surgeon, an internist and a pediatrician are aboard a simulated sinking ship. Their only escape is a one-person raft. Who should be the sole survivor? MCG faculty members play their roles and make their case for survival based on their contributions to society. This insight helps teach sophomore and junior medical students the pros and cons of different medical specialties. Students leave the debate not only with a better understanding of the specialties but with a keener sense of direction. The evening includes a low-country boil and time for students to mingle with faculty and alumni. This event is sponsored by the Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association.
This annual rite formally acknowledges the medical students’ achievement by administering the Hippocratic Oath and presenting the academic hood, which students wear during their Commencement Ceremony.