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White Coat Ceremony Marks Beginning for Incoming Indiana University Medical Students


The Class of 2015 is 328 members strong. They will gather with friends and family at 3 p.m. for the White Coat Ceremony, an annual rite of passage into medical school. Keynote speaker Lisa Harris, M.D., chief executive officer and medical director of Wishard Health Services, will present “We’re All in This Together.”

Following Dr. Harris’ remarks, the students will cross the stage and be assisted by a medical school faculty member into a white coat. The students then recite in unison a physician’s pledge whose origins are attributed to the Greek physician Hippocrates.

While the curriculum varies among the nine IUSM campuses, the first-year focus is gross anatomy, histology, neurobiology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and immunology and introduction to medicine. The second year focuses on biostatistics, pharmacology, medical genetics, pathology and emergency medicine.

In their final two years, students receive clinical training and further classroom and laboratory studies. Students are required to master nine core competencies, including self-awareness, effective communication skills, lifelong learning, problem-solving, professionalism, moral reasoning and ethical judgment, social awareness and its relation to health care, using science as a guide for all aspects of health care and clinical skills.

The IU School of Medicine teaches students on campuses in Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Muncie, South Bend and Terre Haute.