TYLER (July 6, 2023) – The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine hosted its first White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage signifying the students’ entry into the medical profession. During the ceremony, students recited the Physician’s Oath and received a white coat with a Humanism in Medicine pin.
“This is a momentous occasion for UT Tyler, a day to recognize the impact these students will have on the health care of the East Texas region,” said President Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP.
Forty new students pledged their commitment to patient care and came forward to be “cloaked” before family and friends in the iconic white coat that signifies their status as medical students.
“Through the White Coat Ceremony, our students take the first step in their journey towards becoming compassionate and skilled health care professionals,” said Dr. Brigham Willis, founding dean of the School of Medicine. “This ceremony symbolizes their commitment to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and patient care and serves as a reminder of the responsibility that comes with the privilege of wearing the white coat.”
The keynote speech was given by Dr. Julie V. Philley, executive vice president of health affairs and vice provost, followed by the recitation of the Physician’s Oath, led by Dr. Beverly Waddleton, a former family practice physician at UT Health East Texas in Quitman.
“I am very grateful to our dedicated faculty and staff who have helped the School of Medicine reach this important milestone, and to our tremendously generous sponsors whose support has made this day possible,” said Philley.
According to the School of Medicine, 95% of students in the inaugural class are from East Texas counties, including Smith, Gregg, Bowie, Harrison, Angelina, Cherokee, Wood and Kaufman.
The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by Dr. Arnold P. Gold. Gold, an advocate for humanistic health care, believed that the oath taken by new physicians at the end of medical school came too late. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation has expanded the White Coat Ceremony around the globe.
With a mission to improve educational and health care outcomes for East Texas and beyond, UT Tyler offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 10,000 students. Through its alignment with UT Tyler Health Science Center and UT Health East Texas, UT Tyler has unified these entities to serve Texas with quality education, cutting-edge research and excellent patient care. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News & World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.