Columbia Universtiy College Of Physicians & Surgeons Holds Annual White Coat Ceremony For First-Year Medical Students

August 18, 2000

New York, NY - August 18, 2000 - First-year medical students at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons will be ceremonially "cloaked" with their first white laboratory coats and recite the Hippocratic Oath during welcoming ceremonies on Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. in the Alumni Auditorium located at 650 West 168th Street.

The "White Coat Ceremony," first established in 1993 at Columbia University, is an annual custom for incoming medical students who, like most of their peers, traditionally took the Hippocratic Oath upon completion of their medical education. By having first-year students pledge to uphold the Hippocratic Oath's tenets, Columbia seeks to instill in them a sense of responsibility and professionalism for clinical excellence and compassionate care at the start of their training.

The ceremony is one of several projects at the university sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering humanism in medicine.

Following are a few interesting student stories from the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons Class of 2004:

A 33-year-old male graduated from Brown University in 1992 and spent more than four years as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1997, he enrolled at the Harvard Extension School and began work as a research technician at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to prepare for a career in medicine.

Another student is a 1992 graduate of the University of Virginia who began his career as an electrical engineer. From 1993 to 1995 he worked with the U.S. Peace Corps in Namibia, Africa, as a secondary education teacher, then spent six months bicycling 4,000 miles from Namibia to Kenya. He plans to practice medicine in a community that has a distinct need, whether it is in a Third World country, an inner city, or a rural community in the United States.

*** Interview and photo opportunities are available with students and deans. ***

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Alumni Auditorium, Brown University, Hippocratic Oath, Namibia