What it means to wear the white coat

Brown welcomes its newest class of medical students with its annual white coat ceremony.

It’s a symbolic milestone shared by students who pass through The Warren Alpert Medical School. On September 18, the M.D. Class of 2025 carried on this tradition and received their white coats. Joined by those closest to them, they took a meaningful step toward becoming physicians.

In addition to a warm welcome from Jack A. Elias, M.D. (dean of medicine and biological sciences and senior vice president for health affairs), students received inspiration from Julianne Y. Ip ’75 MD’78 RES’81, P’18 (associate dean of medicine for the Program in Liberal Medical Education), during the Charles O. Cooke, M.D., Distinguished Visiting Lectureship. They also heard words of encouragement from fellow student Amador Delamerced ’18 MD’23, who was nominated by his peers to address the incoming class. As students put their hands in their coat pockets for the first time, they found special messages from alumni, family, and friends inside.

For many of them, donning the white coat during a global pandemic takes on new meaning. Ahead of the ceremony, some of Brown’s first-year medical students shared their excitement and aspirations for their future careers in medicine.

White Coats 2021


Welcoming Brown’s M.D. Class of 2025.

What is the White Coat Ceremony?

The white coat ceremony, known at Brown as the Ceremony of Commitment to Medicine, is an annual rite of passage for students pursuing a career in medicine and health care. Since its inception in the early 1990s, it’s quickly become a tradition at medical schools across the country and the world. During the celebratory event, first-year medical students are presented with their own white coat—provided by the Brown Medical Alumni Association.

Supporting the next generation of physician-leaders

The last 18 months have highlighted the critical role doctors play in society. At Brown, we’re determined to provide our students with the knowledge, resources, and support they need to become the physicians-scientists who can tackle the health care challenges of tomorrow. Gifts to the Brown Medical Annual Fund support that mission. The fund provides scholarship aid and access to summer research and enrichment opportunities. It also funds the Doctoring Program through which all first- and second-year students experience early exposure to real patients and medical practice.


Give the gift of medicine.

Support current and future medical students by giving to the Brown Medical Annual Fund.


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