Columbia University Medical Center

2013 P&S White Coat Ceremony: Facts, Photos, and Video

  • The White Coat Ceremony was created 20 years ago by P&S neurologist Arnold P. Gold. The ritual celebrates the student’s transition to medical school and promotes a strong commitment to humanistic practice. Nearly all U.S. medical schools and several schools in other countries have now adopted the ceremony.
  • The entering class has 168 students, representing 32 states and five countries. Eighty-six are women and 36 are members of underrepresented minorities. More than 7,800 applications were submitted.
  • Six students in the Class of 2017 are graduates of Columbia University Medical Center’s Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, Summer Public Health Scholars Program, or Strategic Testing Application Techniques (STAT) Program, which are designed to help increase the number of medical students from underrepresented, disadvantaged, or low-income communities.
  • The first four students in P&S’s new three-year MD program started with the Class of 2017. The accelerated program is for students who already have a PhD in biomedical sciences and wish to become physician-scientists. The program is in addition to the combined MD/PhD degree, which P&S has offered since the early 1970s.