MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The members of the West Virginia University School of Medicine Class of 2015 will soon be adding a significant new article of clothing to their wardrobes - their white coats.

On March 23, the School of Medicine will hold its annual John W. Traubert White Coat Ceremony, during which the 112 students in the class will be presented with their white coats.

Developed by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation of New York, the White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 for the entering class at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. The original concept of the ceremony was to clarify for students, before entering the medical community, that a physician’s responsibility is to take care of patients and to care about patients. It has since been established at medical schools across the country.

At WVU, the first White Coat Ceremony was held Jan. 26, 1996. It differed from the original concept in that it honored second-year students and marked the transition from the basic sciences to clinical sciences, from reading about illness and disease to diagnosing it and from learning about treatments to prescribing them. The ceremony stresses the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and the relevance of the white coat as a cloak of compassion.

“This ceremony is an important milestone in the professional development of a physician,” Norman Ferrari, M.D., vice dean for education and academic affairs and professor in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Medical Education, said. “It is the first time they will publically recite the Oath of Hippocrates on their journey to becoming a physician and establishing a sacred trust with their patients to provide excellent care in a compassionate manner.”

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.

The event, which will be at 11 a.m. in the WVU Mountainlair Ballrooms, will feature WVU School of Medicine alumnus Eric Adkins, M.D. Dr. Adkins is currently an emergency and internal medicine/critical care physician in Columbus, Ohio.
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
rd: 03-18-13