Annual Events

White Coat Ceremony - POSTPONED

This event has been delayed to a future date to be determined.

Congratulations and Welcome Class of 2024!

As information regarding the global outbreak of COVID-19 continues to evolve, please keep in mind this event is subject to change

The White Coat Ceremony calls on students to incorporate the humanistic ideals of medicine in their future care of patients. Each year, approximately 120 outstanding scholars have the honor of joining one of the most prestigious and leading medical institutions in the country when they are formally welcomed as the University of Arizona’s newest class of medical students at the annual White Coat Ceremony. These students will become a part of the legacy of thousands of alumni whose contributions to medical science have resulted in advances that have expanded the boundaries of knowledge, alleviated untold suffering, and saved the lives of countless individuals.

Our new medical students gather in the presence of their families, guests, faculty members and college leaders to formally receive the cloak of their future profession: the white coat.  This event marks each student's entry into clinical medicine — a milestone in the education of a medical student.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a public foundation dedicated to fostering humanism in medicine, furnishes each White Coat participant with a pin that symbolizes a shared commitment to providing compassionate and competent patient care. These pins are placed on the coats prior to the ceremony.

History of the White Coat Ceremony

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation designed the White Coat Ceremony to welcome entering medical students and help them to establish a psychological contract for the practice of medicine.

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated on August 20, 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. In 1994, New Jersey Medical School held its first annual White Coat Ceremony, becoming the nation’s second medical school to do so. Grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1996 and 1997 made widespread advocacy of this celebratory and solemn event possible. Currently, a White Coat Ceremony or similar rite of passage takes place at 96% of AAMC-accredited schools of medicine in the United States, as well as at osteopathic schools of medicine and at schools abroad in Antigua, Australia, Canada, The Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Qatar, and South Korea.

At the ceremony, students are welcomed by respected leaders who represent the value system of the school and the new profession the students are about to enter. The cloaking with the white coat—the mantle of the medical profession—is a hands-on experience that underscores the bonding process. It is personally placed on each student's shoulders by individuals who believe in the students' ability to carry on the noble tradition of doctoring. It is a personally delivered gift of confidence and compassion.

Many of us have been working together to help make this a memorable occasion, and we hope that you’ll join us as a community to celebrate our humanistic commitment to the study and practice of medicine.