White Coat Ceremony

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2006

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2006

Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine Welcomed the Class of 2006 to the Veterinary Medical Profession at the Fourth Annual Vet Insignia Convocation also known as the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 23, 2002.

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 sincerely embraced the spirit of this exercise. You will find that our ceremony has been appropriately modified for veterinary medical students. It will include an induction into the Veterinary Medical College, whereupon each student will receive a coat, generously donated by the Idaho and Washington State Veterinary Medical Associations. As a group, the students will then recite the “Veterinary Student Oath.”


Introduction and Greetings

Dr. Gilbert Burns, Associate Dean for
Academic Affairs

Barry Watson, DVM
Veterinary Affairs Manager
Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

Dr. Kathy Connell, Past President
Washington Veterinary Medical Association

Dave Rustebakke, DVM
Idaho Veterinary Medical Association

Dr. Claude Ragle, Chair
CVM Admissions Committee

Keynote Speaker
Theresa W Fossum, DVM

Presentation of the DVM Class
Dr. Gilbert Burns

Presentation of White Coats
Dr. Steve Simasko, Chair, CVM Curriculum Committee
Dr. Claude Ragle

Veterinary Student Oath
Dr. Steve Simasko

Our pianist is Jill Schneider, PhD, Department of Music

Dr. Theresa W. Fossum

Dr. Theresa Fossum earned the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Idaho, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University (Class of 1982), the Master of Science in Veterinary Anatomy at Ohio State University, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Microbiology at Texas A&M University. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and she was the Wiley Distinguished Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University from 1994 - 1997.

Dr. Fossum has authored more than 70 scientific publications in refereed journals, 18 abstracts, 33 book chapters, served as editor for two books, and made over 125 scientific presentations. Her honors include the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation Excellence in Research Award, and the American Kennel Club Excellence in Canine Research Award. She was an Intern in the Center for Leadership in Higher Education Administration program at Texas A&M University. She is a member of the AVMA, TVMA, and numerous other scientific organizations. Dr. Fossum has served on the editorial boards of Veterinary Surgery, J American Animal Hospital Association, Heart and Vessels, and others.

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2006  

The Veterinary Student Oath

At the time of being admitted to the Veterinary Medical College at Washington State University, I solemnly pledge: 

  • To consecrate my life to the service of both animals and humanity;
  • To give my teachers, staff and classmates the respect that is their due;
  • To conduct myself at all times with conscience and dignity;
  • To always provide comfort and compassion to teaching and client animals left in my care;
  • To maintain the honor and noble traditions of the veterinary medical profession;
  • To avoid considerations of religion, nationality, race, politics or social standing to influence my relationships with teachers, staff, classmates, or clients;
  • To never use my veterinary knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity;
  • I make these promises sincerely, freely and upon my honor.
Washington State University