In the presence of hundreds of family, friends, and faculty, NYU School of Medicine welcomed the Class of 2023 into its program during the White Coat Ceremony on August 15, 2019.
The White Coat Ceremony, which is co-sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, signifies the end of orientation for students and the beginning of their careers in medical school. It marks the beginning of the formal process of medical training and many students now consider it a rite of passage in the journey toward a healthcare career.
The Class of 2023 is comprised of 103 students—55 percent women and 45 percent men. Eleven students entered the MD/PhD dual degree program and eight students entered the accelerated three-year MD pathway program.
At the ceremony, Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Health welcomed the new students, congratulated them on their accomplishments to date, and spoke about the importance of empathy, compassion, and humility, as they prepare to become doctors. His remarks focused on the difference between being wise and being intelligent.
“This ceremony, with its important symbolism, is a chance to reflect on the extraordinary path you’ve chosen,” said Dr. Grossman. “As you begin your transformative journey of privilege and purpose, I hope you will take with you the fundamental distinction between intelligence, something you’re born with, and wisdom, something you earn.”
The keynote speech was delivered by Mark J. Mulligan, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology and the inaugural director of the Vaccine Center at NYU Langone Health. During his remarks, Dr. Mulligan shared his experiences working on major virus outbreaks, such as Ebola and Zika, and how his medical education impacted his career. “Through the challenges of medical school and patient care, you will build an enduring edifice of character within yourselves,” said Dr. Mulligan. “You will form great friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime.”
At the end of the ceremony, the students were brought on stage and “cloaked” in their first white coat by one of seven faculty members in front of those gathered.