Pharmacy, Natural & Health Sciences

White Coat Ceremony

White Coat Ceremony

A symbol for excellence and compassion


Every incoming class of pharmacy majors begins their four-year doctoral journey with the White Coat Ceremony. 

The White Coat Ceremony is a "rite of passage" for students beginning the study of pharmacy that encourages a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in the practice of pharmacy. The event emphasizes the importance of both scientific excellence and compassionate care for the patient.

The white coat is a symbolic, non-verbal communication used to express and reaffirm a fundamental belief in a system that society observes. The authority of dress is serious and purposeful, not social, casual or random. It is a guide to both the patient and clinician on how to react and relate to one another. 

The dress of the healers in primitive societies was an important part of the paraphernalia of their healing. The uniform should convey to even the most anxious patient a sense of seriousness and purpose that helps provide reassurance and confidence that his/her health issues will be dealt with competently and seriously. The white coat is the cloak of compassion.