A rite of passage. The symbol of a profession.

Washington University School of Medicine
welcomes the entering class of 2020.

White Coat Ceremony 2020

October 30, 2020 | 3 – 4 p.m. CST
A YouTube Livestream Event
A link to the event will be provided here on Oct. 30.

View event program »

The circumstances around COVID19 continue to evolve, and events this year are very different from traditionally planned. Our hope is to still provide meaningful programming while adhering to the health and safety guidelines laid forth by our community experts.


Welcome, Entering Class of 2020!

First-year medical students gather for a socially distanced class portrait after taking part in the White Coat Reflection on Sept. 11, 2020.

105 students
63 women | 42 men

Icon: World globe with mortarboard hat

from 9 countries and
27 U.S. states

21 enrolled in the
MD/PhD program



New Curriculum

This fall, Washington University debuts a new medical curriculum — the Gateway Curriculum. It will ensure that our students are not only exceptional physicians, but are prepared to lead the transformational changes needed to improve the future of our field.


Gateway Orientation

Incoming students launch their medical journey during orientation, when students get to know each other, their new school, and their community in St. Louis. The week culminates with the White Coat Reflection. Orientation is organized by the Office of Medical Student Affairs.


‘A journey of a lifetime’

Students embark on medical journeys during pandemic, new curriculum rollout
Read the story »



White Coat Reflection

Friday, Sept. 11

Donning the white coat for the first time is a momentous and meaningful occasion for incoming medical students. While our current circumstances prevent a traditional ceremony, we wanted to provide a space for students to reflect on the meaning of this rite of passage. Together with their new Gateway Coach and coaching cohort, students shared and discussed what it means to be a doctor in these times, and how their medical education journey looks to them. The session concluded with the Gateway Coaches coating their learners with the White Coat.

With this reflection, the journey has just begun. We will be delivering a grander production around the White Coat virtually in October, after the class constructs its Oath.


What is a White Coat Ceremony?  
About the tradition »