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 2017

On September 18, the Icahn School of Medicine welcomed 140 first-year students to the Class of 2021 during its Twentieth 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 leverage their privilege and “commit to being tireless advocates who will empower patients to bridge gaps in their health, access to care, and knowledge.”

The White Coat Ceremony keynote speaker was Paul R.G. Cunningham, MD, FACS, President, North Carolina Medical Society and Dean Emeritus of Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. During his speech, titled “Perspectives on Privilege,” he encouraged the students to take pride in their personal stories while remembering to temper it with the significance of the white coat, their passion that led them to this moment, and the oath they’ve pledged throughout their medical careers.

In his opening remarks, 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 the defining tradition of medicine: mentorship. He urged the incoming class to continue learning and dreaming together in order to improve the future of medicine.

The incoming class—whose ages range from 21 to 36—were selected from a pool of over 5,100 applicants, more than 750 of whom were interviewed, and represent diverse backgrounds and experiences. In fact, nineteen percent of the incoming students identify as underrepresented minorities in medicine (URM) and fifty percent are women. In addition, members of the Class of 2021 graduated from 71 different institutions, including Columbia University, Harvard University, Yale University, Cornell University, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania.