What Is A White Coat Ceremony?

White coat ceremony is  a momentous occasion that marks the beginning of a medical professionals careers. Lawyers don't have a white coat ceremony but a of medical professionals have it for example in pharmacy, nursing, medical school, PA, NP, dentist and veterinary medicine. The ceremony signifies the beginning of students' journeys to achieve the long white coat, when they are physicians. It also symbolizes professionalism, compassion and trust.

“The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students, and was created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993. During the ceremony, a white coat is placed on each student's shoulders and often the Hippocratic Oath is recited, signifying their entrance into the medical profession.” Source: aamc.org

The patients view the white coat as a"cloak of compassion".

The White Coat Ceremony welcomes those embarking on their medical careers to the community of physicians by giving them this powerful symbol of compassion and honor. It also gives them a standard against which they must measure their every act of care to the patients who trust them. The students beginning their studies in medical school see their education and role as future physicians as aspiring to be worthy of the long white coat

The image of the white coat has also become so intimidating that pediatricians and psychiatrists generally choose not to wear it in order to reduce anxiety on the part of their patients. The term "white coat syndrome" is used to describe unrepresentative high blood pressure recordings due to a patient's anxiety upon seeing a doctor in a white coat.

There has been recent studies suggesting to do away with the white coats because they spread infection. But this should not be the case if proper protocols are used. Some hospitals wash the white coats for their staff.