White Coat Ceremony

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.

White Coat Ceremony 2018

On Thursday, September 13, the Icahn School of Medicine welcomed 140 first-year students to the Class of 2022 during its twenty-first annual White Coat Ceremony. The incoming class created their own Student Oath, which reflects the School’s core mission. Among other commitments, the students pledged to: recognize their privilege and responsibility as future physicians; use their advocacy to promote diversity, inclusion, and equitable care; take care of their own well-being; and always remember humanism in their practice.

In honor of the late Hans Popper, MD, PhD—a world-renowned physician, academic leader, President and Dean Emeritus of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine—the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai inaugurated the first annual Hans Popper MD, PhD, Keynote Speaker at the 2018 White Coat Ceremony. Alumna of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Pooja Mehta, MD, MSHP, FACOG, Medical Director and Committee Co-Chair of Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review Program (PAMR); and Director of Maternal and Women’s Health Policy of the LSUHSC Consortium for Health Transformation, was bestowed this honor.

Dr. Mehta spoke candidly to the Class of 2022 about the significance of the White Coat Ceremony and the responsibility each student shoulders when they put on the white coat. Drawing from her own experience and the Oath of Maimonides, Dr. Mehta encouraged the class to embrace the honor the white coat grants but to also take time to ‘intentionally divest their privilege’ and be a ‘fellow creature in pain’ with the people and communities they will care for. 

In his opening remarks, Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mount Sinai Health System, encouraged the new class to take the time to find what truly inspires them to work alongside our established commitment to serve others. “The white coats you’ll wear are more than just a symbol that you are part of a healing profession,” Dr. Davis says. “When you put on those coats you join our community in trying to the best of our ability—and at a very challenging time—to uphold our commitment to access for all.”

In similar vein, Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System, spoke poignantly about the work ahead for this class of future physicians: “We need answers to many urgent and long-standing questions that bear on the lives of your patients.”

The Class of 2022 was selected from a pool of over 5,100 applicants, and more than 750 of whom were interviewed. The Class of 2022, whose ages range from 21 to 38, represent diverse backgrounds and experiences: 19 percent of the incoming students identify as underrepresented in medicine (URM); 48 percent of the class are women; and are alumni of 64 different college institutions, with majors in science, the humanities, and the arts.

As the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, we are proud to welcome the new class of students who already exemplify the School's culture of advocacy, innovation, and community engagement. Congratulations to the Class of 2022.