Class of 2022 celebrates beginning of medical school training at annual White Coat Ceremony

August 9, 2018

On Friday, August 3, 360 first-year Indiana University School of Medicine students received their first white coats, marking the beginning of their formal medical school training. The annual White Coat Ceremony, which was held at the Hilbert Circle Theater in downtown Indianapolis, formalizes the students’ matriculation into the medical community and serves as a symbol of the professional attitudes and ethical behaviors that all physicians in training must uphold. In addition to the ceremonial white coat presentation, the students repeated in unison the Physician’s Oath.

"The White Coat Ceremony was created to begin the identity development for physicians-in-training by reminding us of the qualities expected of a physician as we put on our white coats," explained Paul Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs and institutional improvement, in opening remarks. "The coat represents knowledge, skill, duty and professionalism; the coat reminds us of the importance of compassion and caring in the practice of medicine. We are reminded that our patients come to us and ask for our help—and put their lives in our hands."

IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, vice president for university clinical affairs, offered encouraging words for the Class of 2022, "We selected you to become doctors not only because of your high grades and MCATs, but because of your humanity—your unique personalities and talents and backgrounds. White coat or not, don’t be afraid to let those qualities shine through as you start working with patients. We will be here to support and encourage you throughout your journey, while challenging you to realize your full potential in medicine."

Friday’s ceremony capped a week of orientation that included medical service-learning projects held at the Salvation Army, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Outside the Box, Inc., and Hands in Autism. These activities allowed new students to meet their new colleagues and learn more about the institution as they enroll in the largest medical school in the nation.

IU medical students are assigned to one of nine regional campuses where they receive their four years of training: Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Northwest-Gary, Indianapolis, Muncie, South Bend, Terre Haute and West Lafayette.

View the Class of 2022 White Coat Ceremony video and photo album.