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
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.
We, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai class of 2022, recognize our privilege and responsibility as future physicians and so pledge:
- To care for our own emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being and encourage our colleagues to do the same;
- To consciously promote diversity and inclusion as activists and advocates for equitable care and shared well-being;
- To not only be healers, but also educators committed to empowering our patients to be agents of their own care;
- To respect and collaborate with the entire health care team, recognizing our limits and their strengths;
- To acknowledge and appraise tradition and not be afraid to change it;
- To be lifelong learners dedicated to furthering public knowledge through research and innovation;
- To provide non-judgmental, thoughtful, and personalized care with the highest level of integrity to protect against harm, bias, and injustice;
And above all, to always be guided by compassion for our patients and love for our profession.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Medical Education Oath
The mission of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is to produce physicians and scientists who are prepared to enter society as informed advocates and activists who are able to advance clinical care and science and promote change.
We, the faculty, seek to embody this mission and so pledge the following to you, our students, in our effort to help you to become the best possible physicians and your best possible selves:
- To serve as models for caring, competent, and unbiased care of our patients.
- To engage you in the joy and privilege of practicing the art and science of medicine and the rewards of learning for life.
- To uphold the highest standards in scientific and medical research.
- To inspire you to respect the art and science of medicine, but also to question the status quo.
- To recognize that our opportunity to teach is also our opportunity to learn.
- To not just teach, but also nurture.
- To share of both our craft and ourselves.
- To demonstrate that self-examination means as much as examinations.
- To be kind in evaluating you and ourselves.
- To never lose sight of our wellness and the wellness of all of those around us.
- To have the courage to stand up for the oppressed and vulnerable and against prejudice and racism in all that we do.
- To be aware of our own biases and those around us and strive to eliminate them.
- To meet you where you are and get you where you want to be.
- And, finally, to never forget as physicians, scientists, and educators what we know as human beings.