White Coat Ceremony 

for the Class of 2023

Friday, October 4, 2019
1:00 PM
Ira Allen Chapel, University of Vermont
Reception to follow in the UVM Dudley H. Davis Center Grand Maple Ballroom

What is a White Coat Ceremony?

Initiated on August 20, at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, this annual ceremony or a similar rite now takes place for first-year medical students at about 90 percent of schools of medicine and osteopathy in the United States, and is supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation

According to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the White Coat Ceremony helps establish a psychological contract for the practice of medicine.

Physicians dressed in black until the late 19th century, due to the association of black attire as formal. Physicians adopted the white coat as a symbol of purity at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Program

On Friday, October 4, the White Coat Ceremony will begin at 1:00 pm at the Ira Allen Chapel. The program duration is approximately an hour, and includes greetings by leaders from the UVM Larner College of Medicine and the UVM Medical Center; a keynote address; the white coat cloaking; and the recitation of the Larner College of Medicine-adopted modern Hippocratic Oath.

A reception will follow in the Grand Maple Ballroom at the UVM Dudley H. Davis Center for all students and their guests.

Information for Students


Members of the Class of 2023 must arrive to assemble in the lower level of the Ira Allen Chapel no later than 11:45 am.

Student Lineup and Procession

The student lineup will begin promptly at 12:45 pm and the procession will begin immediately at 1:00 pm. Student cooperation during this process is greatly appreciated.

Staff and student ambassadors will guide students into alphabetical order for the procession into Ira Allen Chapel and their seating on the main floor.

What to bring/not bring

Students should not bring backpacks, laptops or other valuables with them. While we will have a location for students to leave coats, purses, and other belongings during the ceremony, this is not an event where students want to carry their belongings with them.

Note, you will not receive your white coat before the ceremony. You will be cloaked with your white coat during the ceremony.

What to wear

Please dress in professional/interview attire. Whatever you choose should be comfortable and easy to manage when your coat is put on during the ceremony.

Students should avoid wearing thick sweaters or anything that would constrict them from raising their arms to put on the white coat.

Students should avoid wearing high-heeled shoes as there are narrow, steep stairs on the way up to the stage. The stage is about four feet above the floor and students should take this into account when choosing footwear and skirt/dress/pant length. 

How do I get cloaked with my white coat?

During the Ceremony, students will be called on stage by name to be cloaked with their white coats by Christa Zehle, M.D. or Tania Bertsch, M.D.

It seems like a silly question, but getting cloaked properly with your white coat can be challenging. Watch this video to see how to stand and move your arms appropriately to help the cloaking go more smoothly.

Information for Guests


No tickets are required for the event.


Guests should go directly to the Ira Allen Chapel Main Entrance.

Doors will not open until 12:15 pm.

Where to Stay & Accommodations

Please be aware: Out of town guests should be aware that the White Coat Ceremony for the Larner College of Medicine will be occurring at the start of an extremely busy weekend for the UVM community. As such, area hotels, bed and breakfasts, AirBnBs, etc. will fill up quickly. We strongly encourage you to book accommodations as soon as possible.

Please visit http://www.med.uvm.edu/alumni/reunion for hotel block codes.


Video & Photography

The event will be live-streamed for family and friends who are unable to attend. 1-week prior to the Ceremony, the link to the live-stream will be posted in the sidebar of this webpage and on the homepage of med.uvm.edu.

A professional photographer will take photos of the event and a photo gallery from the event will be available within a few days following the Ceremony on the med.uvm.edu homepage.

Parking & Shuttle Service


Please note: Parking will be extremely limited and carpools, shuttles from hotels, etc. are highly recommended.

Parking information will be available in mid-September.


Shuttle information will be available in mid-September.


For guests who decide to walk from their cars the ceremony, from the ceremony to the reception, and from the reception back to their cars, we will be posting three walking maps below shortly.

There will also be signs up along the paths to point you in the right direction.

Special Assistance & Handicap Parking

Ira Allen Chapel is fully accessible to persons using wheel chairs.

Handicapped parking is available behind Ira Allen Chapel upon request. Please email medcomm@med.uvm.edu or call 802-656-0733 no later than Monday, September 16 if you require an ADA parking space. Please note that we will do our best to fulfill all requests.

Staff will be available to assist with the elevator and seating in the Chapel.

ASL/CART Services

The UVM Larner College of Medicine will provide CART services for the ceremony. The College is happy to provide ASL services upon request. Please email medcomm@med.uvm.edu or call 802-656-0733 no later than Monday, September 16 if you or a guest would like these services to be made available to you.


View a Google map showing the location of Ira Allen Chapel and the Dudley Davis Center, plus the Larner College of Medicine, Medical Student Education Building and main campus. View the interactive UVM Campus map

White Coat Ceremony Class '22_14

Photos & Video from the Day

White Coat Photo Gallery

White Coat Video on YouTube


Contact the Office of Medical Communications at medcomm@med.uvm.edu or 802-656-0733.