MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Students in the West Virginia University School of Medicine will soon be adding a new article of clothing to their ensembles. The conferring of white coats represents a big step in the progression of most medical students across the country. WVU’s John W. Traubert White Coat Ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. on March 19 in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. 

Upon entering their second year of medical school, students are presented with their white coats as a reminder of the dedication to expertise, professionalism and excellence that is an inherent part of a medical career. The white coat is meant to be a symbol of compassion and focuses on the importance of the relationship between doctors and patients.

The first ceremony took place in 1993; its main goal was to help students realize that not only did they have a responsibility to patient health but also managing patient relationships. At this point, medical students begin to practice more hands-on medicine. The WVU ceremony stresses the importance of this transitional point in the medical student’s career.

During the event, professor and current member of the WVU School of Medicine Alumni Association, David Tingler, M.D., will be speaking on some of the impacts the ceremony has had on his life and career. Dr. Tingler, Class of 2003, is the first alumnus to have both attended the ceremony as a student and later serve as the featured speaker.

The ceremony is named for John W. Traubert, M.D., former associate dean for student and curricular affairs at WVU School of Medicine. He practiced family medicine in Wellsburg before joining the WVU faculty as founding chair of the Department of Family Practice, now the Department of Family Medicine. A reception follows the ceremony.

For more information: Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
jy: 03-01-11