August 12, 2013

White Coat Ceremony to launch Class of 2017

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine will hold its White Coat Ceremony for first-year medical students Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, at 2 p.m. in the Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South.

Each of the 184 new members of the Class of 2017 will be presented with the traditional white coat in the presence of family, friends, faculty and staff. The white coat is a powerful symbol of both professional competence in medicine and human compassion.

Heather Taylor, M.D., associate director of medical student affairs for the Tuscaloosa campus and professor of Pediatrics, will bring the keynote address during Sunday’s ceremony. Hughes Evans, M.D., Ph.D., senior associate dean for medical education, will welcome new students during the event, and Nathan Smith, M.D., assistant dean for students and admissions, will give opening remarks.

The ceremony follows the completion of the new students' first class, Patient, Doctor and Society. That class focuses on the role that physicians play in society, with emphasis on professionalism, compassion, responsibility, ethics and the doctor/patient relationship. Students will take an oath of dedication at the ceremony written by the students themselves during the course of the first class.

The ceremonial presentation of white coats to medical students is a common practice at medical schools throughout the nation. The ceremony and oath of commitment to patient care remind incoming students of the dedication necessary to complete a medical education and underscore the responsibilities inherent in the practice of medicine.

The white coats are provided to the incoming students by the University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association. Each student also will receive a lapel pin that emphasizes humanism in medicine; it is a gift from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

Live video of the ceremony will be broadcast online beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at

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