School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony
Class of 2015 receives their white coats at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N.M, in August 2011.

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine recently held its 2011 White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2015 at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N.M.

This special ceremony is a rite of passage for beginning medical students as they are welcomed into the medical community by having their first white coats placed on them one at a time.

The Class of 2015 is the 48th class to enter the UNM School of Medicine and is comprised of 96 students, which includes the second group of BA/MD students. Of the 96 students, 85 graduated from a New Mexico high school.

The White Coat Ceremony is meant to emphasize the importance of humanism, compassion and honor as integral parts of a medical career. In addition to receiving their coats, the students recite the Oath of Geneva, which represents the public acknowledgement of the responsibilities of the profession and their willingness to assume these obligations. The message to students is that physicians should care as well as cure.

The white coats are a gift to the students from the Khatali Physician Alumni Association.

Information on the White Coat Ceremony adapted from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, Inc.