White Coat Ceremony

White Coat Ceremony 2016

The White Coat Ceremony at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) is a rite of passage for beginning medical students that marks their official entry into professional training. During the Ceremony, the students receive their first white coats from distinguished members of the School’s faculty, a solemn confirmation of the students’ commitment to professionalism, excellence, and empathy as they embark on their medical careers.

On September 15, ISMMS welcomed 140 first-year students to the Class of 2020 during its Nineteenth Annual White Coat Ceremony. In solidarity, the students created their own Student Oath, which reflects the School’s core mission. Among other commitments, the students pledged “to promote a culture of wellness and mindfulness for ourselves, our peers, and the communities we serve; to be humble agents of change in the pursuit of equitable care; and to actively challenge discrimination at large and bias within ourselves.”

Keynote speaker for the White Coat Ceremony was Jewel Mullen, MD, MPH, MPA, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During her speech, entitled “Always a Doctor: the Unlimited Possibilities of a Medical Career,” she encouraged the students to remember the significance of the white coat and the oath they’ve pledged throughout their medical careers.

In addition, Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs of The Mount Sinai Health System, spoke poignantly about what it means to be a doctor and encouraged the students to learn how to show strength and courage to inspire others.

The incoming class—whose ages range from 21 to 35—were selected from a pool of nearly 5,000 applicants, more than 750 of whom were interviewed, and represent diverse backgrounds and experiences. In fact, twenty-one percent of the incoming students identify as underrepresented minorities in medicine (URM) and fifty-one percent are women. In addition, members of the Class of 2020 graduated from 61 different institutions, including Columbia University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, and Brown University.