White Coat Ceremony

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2014

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2014

Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the Class of 2014 to the Veterinary Medical Profession at the 12th Annual Convocation, also known as the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 20, 2010.

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 and Washington State Veterinary Medical Associations. As a group, the students recite a "Veterinary Student Oath."

Program Dignitaries

Dr. Bryan Slinker, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. John Cannon, Vice President, Washington State Veterinary Medical Association
Dr Aprill Scherman, Idaho Veterinary Medical Association
Dr. Barry Watson, Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Michael Clem
Director, Worldwide Product Development
Johnson & Johnson Company

Presentation of White Coats

Dr. Doug Jasmer, Associate Dean and Miguel Inzunza, Student Services Specialist/Recruiter

Veterinary Student Oath

Dr. Steve Parish, Veterinary Clinical Science

Keynote Address by Dr. Michael Clem

Dr. Michael Clem
Michael F. Clem, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS
Dr. Michael Clem is Director, Worldwide Product Development for Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company.  In this role he leads early stage concept development to generate innovative new products to improve patient care.  Prior to this position he was Vice President, Advanced R&D for Cordis Corporation.  Over his 18 year career with J&J he has held positions of increasing responsibility in concept development, business development, and preclinical research with Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Ethicon and Cordis.  In these roles he has contributed to the understanding and development of processes for concept development and project management leading to new medical devices and procedures.  He is named as an inventor on 26 issued US patents and as author or co-author of over 90 published papers, abstracts and book chapters.


Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Clem was Supervisor of Experimental Surgery at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio.  Trained as a veterinary surgeon, he was Assistant Professor, Equine Surgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, before entering the medical device development field.  Dr. Clem is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and holds a BS from New Mexico State University, MS from Kansas State University, and a DVM from Washington State University.

Veterinary Student Oath (adapted from the AVMA Veterinarian's Oath)
As a veterinary student in the 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.

Washington State University