Home » News

Geisel School of Medicine Celebrates Iconic White Coat Ritual

The Class of '23 (Photo by Rob Strong)

On October 5, members of the Geisel School of Medicine Class of 2023 were welcomed into the profession of medicine during the school’s annual White Coat ceremony—an important ritual for first-year medical students.

Roshini Pinto-Powell, MD, associate dean of admissions and associate professor of medicine and of medical education, welcomed the first-year medical students on behalf of the Geisel community. The White Coat is the most recognized symbol in medicine representing the bond of trust between those who wear it and their patients. In reminding them of the physical and figurative importance of the coat they will soon wear, and to remember why they are here, she read a brief poem by Howard Stein, MD, reflecting that symbolism.

Extending the warm welcome to those gathered, Dean Duane Compton, PhD, encouraged students to reflect on what they’ve accomplished in the two months since orientation and to know, “We are on this path with you—we are walking beside you and guiding you.”

One of Geisel’s ceremonial traditions is for second-year medical students to send a representative from their class to welcome and share their perspective and advice with the newest class. This year, Leslie Yuen ’22, shared her thoughts about practicing kindness and gratitude not only toward patients, but themselves.

And this year, Joanne M. Conroy, MD (D ’77), CEO and president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, shared a personal story about the meaning of humanism in medicine.

Another tradition in addition to these words of welcome and wisdom, are notes tucked into the pocket of each white coat from Geisel alumni welcoming students into the profession of medicine.

The Class of 2023 is Geisel’s 223nd MD class since its founding in 1797.

If you missed this event, you can watch it here: