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White Coat Ceremony – A Rite of Passage for Medical Students

The White Coat Ceremony is a tradition that began at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine in 1997. The school holds its annual White Coat Ceremony in the fall each year, where first-year medical students receive white coats and stethoscopes, visible symbols of patient care. During the ceremony, students are “coated” by faculty members who are committed to medical education. Once coated, each student receives a Cardiology grade stethoscope from LSU Health Foundation leadership and White Coat Ceremony Presenting Sponsors, generously donated by alumni, parents, family, and friends.

According to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which has donated a Humanism in Medicine lapel pin for each student, the cloaking of the white coat, the mantle of the medical profession, is a hands-on experience that underscores the bonding process. The White Coat is 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 faith, confidence, and compassion. Following the coating, the class will recite its original Oath of Ideals.

Although clinical education for LSU Health New Orleans medical students begins in their first year, the White Coat Ceremony signifies the students’ increased contact with patients and patient responsibilities, which expand during their second year.

To get involved and become a White Coat Ceremony sponsor, please visit