A rite of passage. The symbol of a profession.

Washington University School of Medicine
welcomes the entering class of 2017.

Incoming medical students hold signs stating what their white coat means to them.

MD White Coat Ceremony

Friday, September 8, 2017

Incoming medical students hold signs stating what their white coat means to them.

Watch replay of the livestream video  |  View event program (pdf)

Who is the incoming class of MD students?

First-year MD students include cooks and composers, dancers and doodlers, athletes, adventurers and
aficionados of hot sauce. See the class’s self-reported talents »

124 students
61 women | 63 men

from 7 countries and 31 U.S. states

114 majored in science, math or engineering

26 enrolled in the
MD/PhD program

Student Oath

Written by the entering class of 2017.

I commit myself from this day forward 
to the medical profession.

I pledge that:

I will make my patient my foremost consideration as I strive to promote health and quality of life through education, prevention, and care;

I will value the trust my patients place in me and endeavor to build that trust through  compassion, honesty, and excellence;

I will recognize, seek to understand, and respect each patient’s individuality and autonomy;

I will educate and empower my patients and their families to make choices that honor their values and beliefs;

I will listen to my patients so that I may learn how to best serve them.

I pledge that:

I will embrace my humanity and care for myself in order to best care for others;

I will recognize my limitations, act within my capabilities, and seek assistance from my colleagues;

I will navigate medicine’s complexity with my best judgment, hold myself accountable for my actions, and seek forgiveness;

I pledge that:

I will dedicate myself to a lifetime of learning, teaching, and advancing the art and science  of medicine;

I will serve my profession with integrity and empathy;

I will respect the unique contributions of all members of the healthcare team;

I will mentor and teach others, as others mentor and teach me;

I pledge that:

I will champion equitable, sustainable, and quality health care for all people;

I will be cognizant of my biases and privileges and work to mitigate their effects on my patient care;

I will challenge injustices, recognize my duty in a larger society, and advocate for change.

I am humbled by this opportunity and appreciate those who have supported me on my journey.

May I hold fast to the ideals and passion 
with which I take this pledge.

This oath I make freely and upon my honor.

Confronting health disparities

To make the connections between social inequities and health, first-year medical students plunge into issues and communities that give context to their patients’ lives.

Read more about Plunge »


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Photos from the ceremony

What is a White Coat Ceremony?  
Learn about the tradition »