Reflecting [ii] | White Coat

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I will practice medicine to the highest standards of conduct by doing what is best for my patients and allowing neither greed, nor miserliness, nor thirst for great reputation to corrupt me.

I will cultivate the virtues of integrity, honesty, compassion, courage, respect, and self-sacrifice in myself and in my colleagues.

I will remember that my actions impact the way the world perceives medicine.

I will cherish the diversity among my patients and my colleagues, and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

I will respect those who are wiser than I am and will gratefully follow their guidance.

I will be compassionate, and never see in the patient anything less than a fellow creature in pain.

Today is the first step in a lifetime of learning, and I promise to always challenge the extent of my knowledge.

May the white coat I don today remind me of the promises I have made, and of my duty to make medicine better.

Healthcare is a basic human right. For me, to be given the opportunity to learn the human body, to share my knowledge with humanity, to impact a person’s life and in turn impact the people in their lives, to let them impact mine, is an absolute privilege. I do not, will not, take that for granted.

During my white coat ceremony I sat in a chair along with 180 colleagues, listening with excitement to the wisdoms of our school’s president, deans, keynote speaker, and older classmates. I was doe eyed, permanently smiling, with a brand new, clean, fresh, bright, untouched white coat hanging over my arm. I am humbled and honored to embark on this lifelong winding path. This ceremony was more than just a white coat, it was an acceptance of everything that white coat represents. It was an acknowledgement of the responsibility I held, no longer only to myself, but to everyone around me.

Right now this white coat feels big and heavy. I pray for the day it’ll fit.

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