White Coat Ceremony

In the presence of family members, friends, and future colleagues, incoming medical students are are welcomed into the University of Louisville School of Medicine community by leaders in the medical community and ceremonially "cloaked" with their white coats by one of five specially selected School of Medicine faculty members.  Then, dressed in their white coats, the incoming class will stand to recite the Declaration of Geneva.

By establishing this meaningful ritual at the beginning of medical school, our hope is that students will become aware of their responsibilities from the first day of training.  The White Coat Ceremony is intended to impress upon them the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship.  It encourages the students to enter into a psychological contract in which they accept the obligations inherent in the practice of medicine.  The ceremony is designed to clarify for students that a physician's responsibility is to take care of patients, care for the patients, and practice humanism in medicine.

Class of 2024 White Coat Ceremony

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 2024 White Coat Ceremony has been postponed.  We are working with University of Louisville School of Medicine leadership to determine a new date.  Please stay tuned.


Instructions for incoming medical students:


If you have specific questions about the White Coat Ceremony, please contact Tony Simms in the Office of Medical Student Affairs.


Learn more about the history of the White Coat Ceremony by clicking the link below.