PHILADELPHIA – On Friday, Aug. 12, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania will bestow short white coats on 146 first-year medical school students during its annual White Coat Ceremony. This year’s rite of passage will blend tradition with the ever-growing role of mobile technology in the field of health and medicine. Equipped with new Apple iPads, incoming students can use #psomwhitecoat to share the start of their careers in health care via a real-time social media wall gallery that will be displayed during the ceremony.

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Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Health System

The 2016 incoming class upholds PSOM’s long tradition of accepting students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. More than one-fourth of this year’s class represents students who are the first members of their family to graduate college and 26 percent of the class is comprised of underrepresented minorities in the field of medicine, including Mexican American, American Indian, and African American students. Members of the incoming class come from fields and backgrounds that range from the U.S. Military to global nonprofits to undergraduate degrees in art, literature, and music in addition to degrees in more traditional science backgrounds such as biology and chemistry. Students hail from 25 states – Pennsylvania represents the largest portion with 30 students – and 60 colleges and universities.

During the event, students will be individually garbed in short white clinicians’ coats, a vivid symbol of the medical profession, and will receive a stethoscope in the presence of family, friends, and faculty. At the conclusion, the entire class will recite the Hippocratic Oath, pledging to treat the ill to the best of their abilities, preserve each patient's privacy, and to teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation.


Zellerbach Theatre
Annenberg Center
University of Pennsylvania
3680 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


August 12, 2016, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (**White Coat presentation starts at 3:40 p.m.**)


Speakers will include:

  • 3:05 p.m. – J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and dean of the Perelman School of Medicine, presents welcoming remarks
  • 3:15 p.m. – Keynote address, Reflections, presented by Paul Lanken, MD, retiring first associate dean for Professionalism and Humanism at the Perelman School of Medicine.
  • 3:40 p.m. – White coats presented by Gail Morrison, MD, senior vice dean for Education and director of the Office of Academic Programs, and Stanley Goldfarb, MD, associate dean for Curriculum
  • 4:35 p.m. – Incoming class recites Hippocratic Oath

The Penn Medicine Department of Communications can arrange interviews with students and speakers. All media planning to cover the event must check-in with Johanna Harvey (215-873-3870) at the main entrance.

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