White Coat Ceremony

Class of 2021 White Coat Group Photo

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2021

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the Class of 2021 to the Veterinary Medical Profession at the 19th Annual Convocation, also known as the White Coat Ceremony, on Thursday, August 17, 2017.

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."

Program Dignitaries

White Coat 2017 Dignitaries
White Coat Ceremony dignitaries - From Left to Right: Dr. Kerry Rood, Dr. Katie Rein, Dr. David Ard, Dr. Kathy Hickey, Dr. Dirk Vanderwall, Dr. Ken White, Dr. Patricia Talcott. Dr. Bill Dernell at the Podium. Not visible in the photo: Dr. Leslie Sprunger and Dr. Bryan Slinker.


Presentation of White Coats and Veterinary Student Oath

Dr. Patricia Talcott
Director of Admissions, WIMU Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine

Sponsored by:

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.

Washington State University