The 2016 White Coat Ceremony

After three days of orientation—filled with seminars, service trips, and some stuffed animals from Dave and Buster's—members of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine class of 2020 filed into Rockefeller Chapel for the annual White Coat Ceremony.

Reciting the Physician's Oath
Reciting the Physician's Oath

Started here at our campus in 1990, the White Coat Ceremony marks the formal occasion where new students receive their first visible indicator of their future profession as a doctor, in front of their family and friends who come in support. Holly J. Humphrey, MD’83, Dean for Medical Education, welcomed everyone present and asked students to prepare to “embrace the fundamental values of the profession and the traditions of the University of Chicago”. Kenneth Polonsky, MD, Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine, wished all students “the beginning of a long and successful career filled with devotion to the wellbeing of your patients.” Referencing the launch of the Genomic Data Commons and the approval of the Get CARE plan, he spoke about the opportunities for students to learn from the innovation happening at our institution.

Kathryn Colby, MD, PhDThe keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony was Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD, Louis Block Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science. In explaining the five qualities key to her success thus far—passion, focus, persistence, integration, and gratitude—she inspired our 90 newest medical students as they embark on their training. "You will heal when you can, and comfort when you cannot. How fortunate we all are to have found such a meaningful calling," she said. “Cultivate gratitude and express it freely.”

Finally, students were given their white coats by their respective career advisors, and were handed their first stethoscope, courtesy of the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, and Humanism in Medicine lapel pins from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. As Cori Harris, MS2 and White Coat Committee member said, “Welcome to our inclusive, caring, collaborative, and fun Pritzker community. I know I speak for all of the Pritzker student body when I say we are so glad that the Pritzker admissions committee handpicked you, and that you handpicked Pritzker.”

Welcome, class of 2020!