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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by LittleRocker, Dec 14, 2008.
Do all schools have this and make a big deal out of it or just some?
most/many have it and it is really cool.
interestingly, it is a fairly recent tradition. i think it started in the 90s.
don't miss it unless you have no choice and invite family and very close friends.
I'm pretty sure its all of them..... the white coat is like a symbol of the doctor, so it's kind of a big deal
i think it actually started earlier than the 90's, cause my prof in undergrad always raved about it to me and he definitly is older than a 90's grad
It's like the reverse of a graduation - yes, a big deal, marking your entrance into med school and commitment to what's coming up. Family members attend and take pictures and all that good stuff. It's fun.
i don't think it's all yet, but it's catching on fast. Mainly it lets folks have family in the celebrate their being on the road to professional. It's really cool at the time, but within a couple of years you are going to hate that short white coat.
And is one of the first times the school will hit up the family for donations -- schools have made it into a fundraising effort.
hahaha, why am i not surprised they make it into a fundraising thing..... i guess you gotta make mo money some how
That's not been my experience at all... I guess it varies by school. At my school, the senior faculty wear their academic robes, there is a guest speaker, usually someone within the faculty, some teaching awards are presented and then the oath is administered (I don't recall which one) and the upper classmen present the short coats to the freshman. Absolutely, no pitch for donations.
In fact, the school doesn't even ask alumni for money until they are at least 5years out.
The White Coat Ceremony originated at Columbia, in the late eighties or early nineties. My parents flew out to the east coast from the Northwest for my ceremony and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is as much for the families as for the students. And no, there was no fundraising going on, unless engendering warm feelings for the med school constitutes fund raising. But nothing overt.
Cynics will dismiss it. But I thought it was pretty cool.
Docs and students at Mayo don't wear white coats. So no white coat ceremony. There is a "Commitment to human values in medicine" ceremony though during Parents Weekend.
All I know is that at least at one place, parents were given a packet of information which included a donation envelope, and the dean made a request at the ceremony.
I'm really excited for the white coat ceremony! August 7th baby! Its especially cool b/c my grandfather should be able to come, and he says the last thing he wants to do is see me graduate from med school (he's in his 90s). If god forbid he passes away within the next 4 years, he will at least have been able to attend this ceremony.
According to this article, it didnt start at Columbia, altho they did put on the first "full fledged white coat ceremony"....
"The ritual got started at the University of Chicago in 1989, after a professor complained to Dean of Students Norma F. Wagoner that first-year students were "showing up in shorts and baseball caps" for sessions "where the patients are pouring their hearts out.""
No fundraising at mine either.
It was very cool. Each student is introduced by name and undergrad, comes up on stage, and a faculty member puts the coat on you, with your plastic name tag. then we all say the oath together. some speeches and stuff. really makes you feel like you are at the beginning of something big. which is the whole point, i guess.
you would have to be VERY cynical to not enjoy it, at least a bit!!!
How long are white coat ceremonies typically? I ask this because my college class of ~200 took ~4 hours for graduation
does your white coat have your name on it? Or does it just say something like "X school of medicine?"
For my school, it's a whole day event filled with lectures/activities for students and family. The actual ceremony took like... 2 hours? There were guest speakers, but not too many.
You probably won't notice the time because in all honesty, it was darn fun to be wearing that white coat for the first time and walk around with it without any expectations that you must know something. When you wear that coat again around patients, it serves as a constant reminder of how little you actually know.
It is a tripped out plastic name tag with your name, name of school and "medical student" on it!!!!!!!!! awesome.
(they want to make sure patients don't mistake you for a doctor, though they all do anyway.)
Depends on the school. At UCSD it just says the school name, but at Stanford and UCLA your name is embroidered on there. Stanford also gives first years long coats to remove the idea of a "hierarchy" between students and faculty.
school name sown on ftw!
no names on ours though, had to get the id badge later.
Damn, a stitched in name would be bad ass! I wont complain though, its still pretty awesome!
haha! At my last summer job working in a clinic i was confused for a doctor at least twice a day. One of the drug company reps tried to get me to sign off on her paperwork or whatever she needed to get signed .
WHAT!!!??? I call foul. I thought the long coat was code for "I'm an MD???"
(I am totally bummed about my tripped out plastic name tag now. Maybe I'll learn how to embroider.)
Ours was definitely a fundraiser in disguise. Invite the students' families, make the students sit through separate presentations while the parents are in another auditorium being told how great we are and how they should give the school money to make us even greater.
Then we get the white coats. The more starry-eyed students get pretty excited at the novelty. I know personally I (and a few other people) found it kind of boring, and already realize what a cloak of futility the short white coat is.
Most other people fall somewhere in between.
we have our names stitched in.
our wcc was mainly a ceremony for family.
Ours too. We didn't even wear our coats for the first month or so, and we only pull them out about every 2 weeks now. It's functionless pomp and circumstance that gives mom an opportunity to be proud.
After a solemn ceremony of one hour with the dean helping us put our white coats on, brief speeches, and the oath, we had a buffet dinner for all students and their guests. Yeah for free food!
Hey, we didn't get any food. What gives?
Not even snacks? or lunch?
Nope, we showed up a half-hour before the ceremony, sat through the ceremony, and left. It was pretty useless.
I'd demand my money back
I love you guys who pretend to be "too cool for school."
Of course you, and your mom and dad, have a right to feel proud. the White Coat Ceremony gives a venue for that. no more, no less.
And we had food and drinks too. Not dinner, but heavy appetizers. Nice of them, i thought.
why would anyone express contempt for that? i know who would: immature and insecure folks who think it makes them look cool to look down on stuff like that.
That is pretty cheap and cheezy. I would skip commencement when you graduate and just move on to residency. Just drive out of town and don't look back in your rear view mirror and give the three fingered salute when you hit the county line.
Whatever. Everyone else felt the same way. I was extremely proud when I got into med school. I was not so proud about sitting around in a suit in a hot auditorium for an hour and a half. I'm not big on tradition anyway, and the fact that we wear our coats for one hour every other week doesn't exactly add to my enthusiasm.
Yeah. I was pretty stoked about getting an acceptance; but I'm not sure how I feel about having a ceremony revolving around receiving the smock of shame.
In my opinion, its just a big phony show of grabass. "Oh yippie, lets pretend like the fantasy world of medical school, with all their philosophizing about 'making a difference', is going to mean anything when we really step out into the real world."
reading this thread is a little sad
You guys are too little to be getting this cynical...try to enjoy being a "baby doc" while you can. It's a nice tradition and chance for your family to enjoy/bask in the light of your achievement a little bit. Try to make momma proud!
oh man I can't wait until my white coat ceremony, although I have been told that the half coats look like ice cream vendor uniforms.
Thanks for these good words. I am a bit older as an M1 than many of the people here who are expressing such cynicism. I have some of the perspective that you are reflecting in your post. But you have more credibility!!
I think the kids in or just out of undergrad should not be afraid to appear bright eyed and bushy tailed. They have plenty of years ahead to be cold and bored and above-it-all.
I'm older, and I'm also a cynic. It IS the kids right out of undergrad who are "bright eyed and bushy tailed", at least in all of my personal experiences.
By the way, never once has "trying to be cool" or "trying to be above it all" factored into my views on something like a white coat. I'm a pragmatist, I guess. I see the white coat for what it is. I also see the ceremony, at least at my school, for what it is.
Ours was PAINFULLY long. Everyone was there for the white coat-ing, but they spend 3 hours just giving out every single scholarship in the history of man first. Every scholarship was awarded by a different person and then the receipient came on stage and accepted it. 99.9% of the people in the audience were there for the white coat incoming MS1s, but 3/4 of the time was devoted to giving awards to the MS2-4s.
Basically it showed all of the parents the tons of scholarships that were available so they know that their kid is the lone dumb***** if they don't receive one the following year.
It lasted two hours and I enjoyed it. Plus a nice reception with great food. My parents loved it, so I guess I am willing to spend two hours to make these two people happy who have given so much to me. Mom, if you are reading this, I love you Mom. Happy Mother's Day!!!
What really makes me sad is that my little cat, Hadley, was unable to attend the White Coat Ceremony. I named Hadley after Ernest Hemmingway's first wife, Hadley, whom he subsequently divorced. But Hadley was Ernest's best wife, so I named my cat, Hadley, who unfortunately, could not attend my White Coat Ceremony. Which was sad, if I had been at Veternarian School, well, who, knows, Hadley might have been in the front row, and chatting with the Dean. And snacking on sushi with tuna.
Does this mean I'll be attending every year? I was hoping this was a one time event .
God you guys are hilarious. I post a question, step away for SDN for a few hours, come back and find 40 responses to a simple question. gotta love SDN.
Actually, yours is probably the funniest response on the thread so far. Unintentionally, I'm afraid.
I don't understand why this is such a PITA to some people. Honestly, suck it up. Do this for your parents. Even if they didn't help you worth a lick, this is a great time for them to be proud. You should be proud too. The short white coat = medical student and 3rd year medical student = "dumb." It sucks we won't know anything, but no one is at that point in the game when white coats are given out. Soak up the moment and realize, wow, I did something that not many people do. Hardly anyone knows on the outside what hell you went through to get where you are. Atleast take this praise, pomp, and circumstance and savor it before the pain begins. For those of you looking forward to your White Coat Ceremony, good!
I am unapologetically bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and really looking forward to the white coat ceremony, oath and all. When I'm in med school, I'll be looking forward to the other white coat ceremony and the hooding at graduation. I have worked my butt off my whole life for this, and it means a lot to my family and to me. Bring on the pomp and circumstance and the tradition and ceremony and whatever else you've got. I know med school is gonna be painfully hard, so I'll take whatever (happy) trappings I can get.
Well said!!! There are only a few moments in life that one can actually "savor." Hard work behind you, hard work ahead of you. But this moment, however wonderfully lame, marks the transition and starts you on the path to fulfill your dream. Don't take it for granted.
Totally agree with all of you! Of course it's a silly little ceremony, and of course we have a TON left to do. We're barely scratching the surface. Seeing how ridiculously proud my parents were to see me wearing that short coat made me really happy, and I agree that you should savor all the happy moments you can find in life.
Sometimes I think the whole white coat thing is more for the parents than the students themselves.
My mother rattled off the list of white coat ceremony dates for every school I've interviewed at the other day. Hec, I don't even know the start dates for 99% of these places, and she's got the whole calendar down.
And apparently she has plans for my entire family to attend. And yes, that includes my 92 year old grandmother.
Hiya, quick question for anyone:
Do they make the incoming class go up on stage one by one and announce their names, anything like that? Do they say anything about the person on stage, if they do do that?