White Coat Ceremony

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2007

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2007

Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine Welcomed the Class of 2007 to the Veterinary Medical Profession at the Fifth Annual Convocation also known as the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 22, 2003

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 includes 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 recite the “Veterinary Student Oath.”


  • Dr. Warwick Bayly, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Gilbert Burns, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Richard DeBowes, Chair, Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS)
  • Dr. David Prieur, Chair, Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology (VMP)
  • Dr. Bryan Slinker, Chair, Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience (IPN)
  • Dr. Jayne Jensen, President, WSVMA, Washington Veterinary Medical Association
  • Dr. David Rustabakke, Representative, IVMA, Idaho Veterinary Medical Association
  • Dr. Dorothy Ainsworth, Keynote Speaker
  • Dr. Diana Stone, Chair of the CVM Curriculum Committee
  • Dr. Ken Meyers, Chair of the CVM Admissions Committee
  • Dr. Dave Schneider of the CVM Student Progress Committee

Keynote Address

Dorothy M. Ainsworth, DVM, PhD

Dorothy M. Ainsworth, DVM, PhDThe Regents of Washington State University awarded Dr. Ainsworth the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1980. From 1980 to 1983, she completed an internship and residency in equine medicine and surgery at the San Luis Rey Equine Clinic in Bonsall, California and Michigan State University, respectively. She became a Diplomate of the College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1984. She earned a Master of Science degree (1985), followed by a PhD (1990), in Veterinary Science from the University of Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Ainsworth joined the faculty at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, advanced through the faculty ranks, and was recently promoted to Professor of Equine Medicine. She is the author of over 40 refereed journal publications and 9 book chapters. Her research interests include the limitations of the canine and equine respiratory system in health and disease. In conjunction with her work, she has been awarded an American Lung Research Fellowship, an NIH Pulmonary Research Fellowship, and an NIH Senior Research Fellowship. Above and beyond her many scholarly achievements, Dr. Ainsworth’s students have recognized her teaching excellence by selecting her for a Norden Teaching Award in 1988.

Presentation of the DVM Class by Dr. Gilbert Burns

The White Coat Ceremony

Dr. Diana Stone, Chair
CVM Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee is charged with designing, implementing, revising, and maintaining the sequence of pre-clinical and clinical educational experiences that comprises the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. Student representatives from each of the OSU and WSU classes, as well as faculty representatives from the three college departments, serve on this committee.

Dr. Ken Meyers, Chair
CVM Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee is responsible for thoroughly evaluating the hundreds of applications sent to WSU from around the world each year. Specific academic and non-academic criteria are used to select applicants who the committee believes will be able to successfully complete our rigorous, science-based veterinary curriculum and possess the qualities of a good veterinarian.

Recitation of the Veterinary Student Oath

Dr. Dave Schneider
CVM Student Progress Committee

The Student Progress Committee makes recommendations to the Dean in all areas related to students’ progress through the veterinary curriculum including promotion, remediation, probation, dismissal, and graduation.

The pianist was Dr Margaret Brink, PhD, Department of Music
A reception followed the ceremony.

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