The White Coat Ceremony is a "rite of passage" for students entering medical school. Student-physicians are "cloaked" with their first white coats in the presence of family, friends and faculty members. The class members and physicians also stand to recite the Oath of Geneva, which again will be sworn during the traditional graduation ceremony when students become physicians.
""This event is significant for beginning medical students. The theme of the ceremony will revolve around promoting and encouraging humanism, compassion and honor as integral parts of a student's medical career. The message conveyed is that physicians should care as well as cure,"" said UNM School of Medicine Dean Paul Roth, M.D., who will serve as master of ceremonies.
The keynote speaker is John H. Saiki, M.D., emeritus professor of medicine and former director of the Medical Oncology Clinic at the UNM School of Medicine.
Initiated in 1993 by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the White Coat Ceremony is currently celebrated at more than 80 medical schools in the United States and in Israel.
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