Every year, medical schools nationwide celebrate the incoming class of medical students during the White Coat Ceremony—the official start of their medical careers. Since its inception in the early 90s, the White Coat Ceremony has become a revered tradition that emphasizes the importance of both scientific excellence and compassionate care for patients. 

What is more, the white coat itself has become a powerful symbol of medicine and responsibility. “When you don the white coat, something will change,” stated Dean Dennis Charney, MD during the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s twentieth annual ceremony.

 

As we begin to officially welcome the Class of 2022, we invited some our current medical students to take a look back their own ceremony and reflect on what the white coat means to them. Check out how the white coat has given each of them newfound perspective:


 

 

“The White Coat to me signifies immense privilege with my access to education and training to better serve others. I take is as my duty to help the communities I was raised in and help better the city that made me who I am: a strong-willed, passionate advocate for human rights.”

Sayeeda Chowdhury, MS III

 


 

“Bright lights, deafening bliss, and radiant smiles. I recognized no smiles from back home. My family, stranded and unable to travel because of an immigration checkpoint. I felt a crisp coat touch the skin of my nape. My strength and spirit renewed by remembering those who support me—my community.”

Julio Ramos, MS II

 

 

 

“In a world filled with wars and violence, my White Coat is one thing that truly brings me happiness and joy. It represents years of hard work and sacrifices from my parents and me. This coat is indeed a blessing that I never take for granted.”

Syed Haider, MS IV

   

“The privilege of wearing a white coat has shown me how a simple article of clothing can instantly change your perception: from a young, naïve medical student to a trusted source of knowledge and a friendly face to turn to for assistance.”

Stephanie Hanchuk, MS IV

 

 

“When we wear the white coat, it is important to realize it truly affects people. I’m careful with how I share information with patients, so it can make the most positive impact possible.”

Zachary Davidson, MS IV

 

 

“I have dedicated myself to becoming an integral part of the very systems that oppress and divide, so that in better understanding them, I can open doors for those who have been shut out. To me, a white coat is an avenue for creating opportunities for others.”

Chierika Ukogu, MS III

 

 

 

“My white coat represents the commitment and sacrifice of my family, friends, and mentors who have supported me in my pursuit of becoming a physician. It denotes a sacred duty to do everything possible to advocate for my patients in their moments of greatest need, and signifies my increased capacity to do so.”

Charles Sanky, MS III

  “The white coat reminds me of the hard work and prayers that brought me here. The respect patients give it reminds me daily of the profession’s sacred responsibilities. Most importantly, it is a physical reminder of the dedicated doctors who’ve worn it before—whose mantles I must learn to fill.”

Daniel Thomas, MS II

 

 

 

“Receiving the white coat was a special moment because it was a reminder that I am committing myself to a vital service for people.”

Chuma Nwachukwu, MS III

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s 2018 White Coat Ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 13 at 5 pm. We invite you to join us and watch the Ceremony live


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read more

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