The White Coat Ceremony for medical students in the Class of 2024 will take place on Monday, April 18, 2022. For Indiana University School of Medicine, this is the first year where the event occurs between a students' transition between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of medical school—their second and third year of training.
The short white coats medical students wear elicit patients' high expectations of the doctor-patient relationship. In the presence of family, friends and faculty members, leaders will welcome students into the medical community, marking the completion of a rigorous pre-clerkship program and the transition into spending most of their time in the clinical environment.
In the United States, the White Coat Ceremony is traditionally placed at one of two potential points in the timeline of medical education: at or near the beginning of medical school, commemorating the entry into formal medical education, or just prior to the clinical clerkship phase of the education, commemorating the symbolism of the white coat as it relates to the physician's duty to the care of patients.
"As our school navigated the pandemic over the last several years, we migrated our white coat ceremony from the beginning of medical school to its current placement," said Paul Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for Educational Affairs. "This change was made so that we can truly elevate the centrality of compassion and caring in patient care as the major focus of this ceremony."