With a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation of New York, the University of North Texas Health Science Center began the celebration of a White Coat Ceremony in August of 1996. The White Coat Ceremony is a “rite of passage” for health science center students that encourages a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy. The event emphasizes the importance of the foundational mission of the institution: education, research, patient care and service.
The UNTHSC ceremony takes place at the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium in front of family, friends and selected faculty. The incoming students are welcomed by the President and Deans and will be addressed by an eminent
professional role model. The students are then presented, “cloaked,” with their first white coats symbolizing the mantle of their chosen profession. Students swear a professional oath before the assembled group, publicly acknowledging their new responsibilities and their willingness to assume the obligations of their new profession.
The white coat is a symbolic, non-verbal communication used to express and reaffirm a fundamental belief in a system that society observes. The authority of dress is serious and purposeful, not social, casual or random. The dress of healers of primitive societies was an important part of the paraphernalia of healing. The uniform should imply a purely professional interest. It must convey to even the most anxious a sense of seriousness and purpose that helps provide reassurance and confidence that his/her complaints will be dealt with competently and seriously.
It is a cloak of compassion.
TCOM White Coat Ceremony: TBD
SHP and SCP White Coat Ceremony: TBD