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Morris graduate receives his white coat at a special ceremony at UMD

Timothy Jay

Duluth, Minn. Sixty first-year medical students of the University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth received their first white coats and took an oath of compassion that they had written today. The inspirational event was conducted in the Weber Music Hall on the UMD campus with a reception immediately afterwards in the Medical School atrium.

Receiving their personal white coats is a rite of passage for students entering medical school. Conducted at medical schools and other health care profession schools internationally, the White Coat Ceremony was created in 1993 at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons by Dr. Arnold Gold in order to stress the importance of humanism in the doctor-patient relationship. Part of the oath that Duluth medical students wrote included this promise:

We will be advocates for our patients and collaborate with other health care professionals, remembering at all times that the patients' needs are our priority as we contribute to their longitudinal care.

The keynote speaker was Charles Branch, M.D., an alumnus of the UMD medical school who now is in residency in Ontario.