NYU School of Medicine Welcomes 162 Students of the Class of 2015

Orientation Culminates with 14th Annual White Coat Ceremony

August 19, 2011 - 1:51pm

A White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2015 was held today at NYU School of Medicine, signifying the beginning of their medical education and symbolically confirming their commitment to the profession of medicine. This ceremonial presentation of coats promotes empathy and compassionate service to others in the practice of medicine at the very start of medical training.

During the ceremony, 162 students were brought to the stage and, in the presence of family, friends and colleagues, were “cloaked” in their first white coat —the mantle of the medical profession— by one of seven specially selected faculty members. Together as a class, they took an oath similar to the Hippocratic Oath, stressing the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and making a compassionate commitment to medicine. 

Robert I. Grossman, MD, Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center, welcomed the new students with an inspirational address, and at the conclusion of the ceremony administered the Student Oath, a pledge to uphold the values of integrity, professionalism, and scholarship in biomedical research. The Keynote Speech, “Different From the Start: A Brief Look at the Origins of Bellevue and NYU,” was delivered by David M. Oshinsky, PhD, Jack S. Blanton Chair in History at the University of Texas and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University.

NYU School of Medicine’s new students are on average age 23, and represent most of the major colleges and universities across the country. 47.5 percent of the new students are women and 52.5 percent are men. The class represents 21 states within the U.S., with 61% of incoming students coming from outside of New York State.  Additionally, nine students originated from five countries outside the U.S. including Canada, Brazil, China, Korea and Venezuela. While 76% of the class majored in science, 23% also majored in humanities programs.

A symbolic event introduced in 1993, the White Coat Ceremony was established after a group of distinguished physicians, medical educators and community leaders formed the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The Foundation concluded that the beginning of a student's journey into medicine is the best time to influence standards of professionalism, humanistic values and behavior. Currently, a White Coat Ceremony or similar rite of passage takes place at more than 90% of schools of medicine and osteopathy in the U.S., as well as at all four medical schools in Israel. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation has provided generous support of NYU School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony and is providing each student with a "Humanism in Medicine" lapel pin.


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