Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the Class of 2020 to the Veterinary Medical Profession at the 18th Annual Convocation, also known as the White Coat Ceremony, on Thursday, August 18, 2016.
History of the White Coat Ceremony
The White Coat Ceremony, established by Dr. Arnold Gold at Columbia University Medical School in 1993, was designed to impress upon students, physicians, and the public the important symbolic role of the white coat in patient-doctor interactions. Gold argued that students were reciting the Hippocratic Oath four years too late – upon their graduation from medical school. He felt the oath and the conferring of white coats would be better done at the start of medical school, when students receive their first exposure to clinical medicine. The White Coat Ceremony provides a mechanism by which values that are key to our profession can be openly articulated and carefully considered in the company of peers, parents, partners, and faculty.
The College of Veterinary Medicine has embraced the spirit of this exercise. You will find that our ceremony has been appropriately modified for veterinary medical students. It includes an induction into the Veterinary Medical College, whereupon each student will receive a coat, generously donated by the Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Washington State Veterinary Medical Associations. As a group, the students recite a "Veterinary Student Oath."
Presentation of White Coats
Dr. Patricia Talcott
Director of Admissions, WIMU Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Student Oath
Dr. Dirk Vanderwall
Veterinary Student Oath (adapted from the AVMA Veterinarian's Oath)
As a veterinary student in the Regional Program of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, I promise to work conscientiously to develop my scientific and medical knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
Throughout my time here as a student, I will conduct myself with dignity and professionalism, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.