By Kendra Carter
The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine will hold its White Coat Ceremony for first-year medical students at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South.
Each of the 187 new members of the Class of 2018 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. Live video of the ceremony will be broadcast online beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at www.uab.edu/medicine/whitecoat.
Hussein Abdullatif, M.D., professor of pediatrics and faculty winner of the 2013 Leonard Tow Award for Humanism in Medicine, will deliver the keynote address. Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine, will welcome new students during the event.
The ceremony follows the completion of the new students’ first class, Patient, Doctor and Society, a course focusing on the role 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. 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 will also receive a lapel pin that emphasizes humanism in medicine; it is a gift from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.