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Is the white coat ceremony a big deal?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by DO Boy, Jul 21, 2000.

  1. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member

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    I'm debating whether or not to invite my parents to this thing. It just doesn't seem to be a big deal to put on the white coat only to take it off and put it back on two yrs later when clinicals start.

    I guess it's a neat thing, but we're not doctors yet, and we could even flunk out of school (hopefully not).

    Anyways, should I ask my parents to this thing?


    DO Boy
    TCOM '04

    ps--my girlfriend is attending it. [​IMG]

     
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  3. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    You're not a doctor yet, but you'll be expected to behave like one. Patients have little familiarity with the whole medical heirarchy of attendings, residents, interns, and students. To most of them, all the white-coated, stethescoped people walking around are doctors.

    Also, you'll notice that after your 2nd or 3rd semester, people in your FAMILY will begin treating you like a doctor. Likely, you'll start getting telephone calls from relatives asking for advice or clarification of medical concepts.

    The white coat ceremony is important because it marks your initiation into a very special order. There a few professions that train as hard and as long as physicians do and carry as much social responsibillity (I'm sure you're aware of that). Even after you pass the boards, graduate, finish residency, pass specialty boards, become a fellow of your specialty college, etc...you'll always be a "student" of medicine.

    I had the same thoughts about the situation you do when I participated in my white coat ceremony. I didn't ask my parents to attend because I didn't think that the beginning of this whole process was as important or meaningful as the end. I wanted my parents to be there when I graduated. The summer of my second year in medical school my mom died of metastatic lung cancer. It blows me away some times to think that she never lived to see me finish medical school. You've worked very hard to get to where you are. You deserve the opportunity to formally accept the responsibility of becoming a physician-in-training and your parents deserve the opportunity to feel proud of you.

    Invite your parents.


    [This message has been edited by drusso (edited 07-22-2000).]
     
  4. SuperflyMD

    SuperflyMD Member

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    I was really ambivilant about the whole thing. I had family drive in from out of state, and I was sure it would be a disappointment. As it turned out, it was really a great thing.

    I finally decided the ceremony was really for my family, and I was just a fulcrum. Frankly, they deserved it for all the help and support they gave me to get me to this point. The whitecoat gave them something tangible to identify with during the next four years while I am neglecting them.

    Don't take that away from your loved ones (or yourself). Approach the ceremony with enthusiasm.
     
  5. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member

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    oooh....What a mistake! I apologize for my naivety. It's a very honorable ceremony, and I must be really myopic to have glossed over this one. Sorry.
     

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