Virtual White Coat Ceremony Welcomes School of Medicine Class of 2024
(August 22, 2020) — Despite the virtual setting for their White Coat Ceremony, the School of Medicine warmly welcomed the Class of 2024 as they donned their white coats and recited the Hippocratic Oath together for the first time.
“Members of the Class of 2024, as you take the Hippocratic Oath today, you embark on your careers as physicians at a critical and evolving time,” said Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH, executive vice president of Georgetown University Medical Center and executive dean of Georgetown University School of Medicine, at the August 21 ceremony. “Today, you join Georgetown’s community of scholars and healers who are guided by the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, care of the whole person, mind, body and spirit.”
“We are so pleased to welcome you to Georgetown,” he added.
Members of the Class of 2024 were the first to join the new Earl H. Harley Jr., MD, FACS, FAAP, Learning Society, the first to be named in honor of an African American physician. Harley, professor of otolaryngology and pediatrics, led the new medical students in reciting the Hippocratic Oath.
In his remarks, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia acknowledged that the students were beginning their journey to becoming physicians at a “time of consequence for our world,” referring to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world.
“In the years ahead, you will pursue new knowledge and discover the unique gifts you have to share with your peers and your patients, to share with our community and our world,” DeGioia said. “We hope our tradition and our commitment to the common good will come alive in each of you and will shape your lifelong commitment to advancing health and medicine.”
This year’s White Coat Ceremony was also the first to feature Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, MBA, the school’s new dean emeritus for medical education and professor of medicine and pediatrics, giving the Edmund D. Pellegrino Professionalism Lecture.
The traditional short white coats, generously donated by the School of Medicine Alumni Association, were mailed to the students in the weeks leading up to the ceremony.
“You cannot choose the coat. The coat chooses you,” Mitchell said. “Wear your new coat with pride, with health, with happiness, but wear it with the challenge to make this world better, fuller and more inclusive.”