White Coat Ceremony

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2015

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2015

Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the Class of 2015 to the Veterinary Medical Profession at the 13th Annual Convocation, also known as the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 19, 2011.

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. Patricia Talcott, Director of Admissions
Dr. John Cannon, Representative for WSVMA
Dr. Dave Rustebakke, Representative for IVMA
Dr. Cathy King, Keynote Speaker
Dr. Steve Simasko, Chair, IPN
Dr. David Prieur, Chair, VMP
Dr. William Dernell, Chair, VCS
Dr. Steve Parish, VCS
Dr. Rick DeBowes, Associate Dean, Development and External Relations
Mr. Miguel Inzunza, Student Services Specialist/Recruiter

Keynote Speaker
Catherine King, DVM, MS, PhD
CEO of World Vets

Presentation of White Coats
Dr. Patricia Talcott Director of Admissions and Miguel Inzunza Student Services Specialist/Recruiter
Veterinary Student Oath,
Dr. Steve Parish, Veterinary Clinical Science

Keynote Address by Dr. Cathy King

Dr. Cathy King
Catherine King, DVM, MS, PhD

Dr Cathy King grew up on a small farm in Sandpoint Idaho.  By the age of 25 she had completed four college degrees, including a Bachelors in Veterinary Science, Masters in Animal Science and a PhD in Physiology all from the University of Idaho, along with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine ('97).  She worked as an associate veterinarian in a mixed animal practice for several years prior to opening Hometown Animal Hospital in Deer Park, Washington. During her time as a practice owner, she founded World Vets which now has its headquarters in Fargo, North Dakota.  What started from a donation jar at a small town veterinary hospital has now become one of the largest veterinary aid organizations in the world.  In 2008 Dr King sold her practice to provide full time leadership as the CEO of World Vets, which now has ongoing programs in 34 countries on 6 continents and provides over $5 million/year in veterinary aid.  In addition to deploying a volunteer veterinary team abroad nearly every week of the year, World Vets runs a year-round surgery training center in Nicaragua, provides global disaster relief services and is the NGO providing civilian veterinarians for two annual US military humanitarian aid missions aboard Navy ships. World Vets also provides international veterinary experience for hundreds of veterinary students each year.  Dr King is newlywed and enjoys sharing her life with husband Dr Mike Sornson.

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