Baker College Nursing Students sitting outdoors during their White Coat Ceremony.
Baker College of Owosso was selected by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to host a White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of training, on September 8, 2021.
During the ceremony, nursing students recited an oath with a commitment to humanistic – compassionate, collaborative, and scientifically excellent – patient care. Students then came forward during the ceremony to be “cloaked” in the iconic white coat that signifies their status as healthcare professionals.
The first White Coat Ceremony took place in 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. At the time, Dr. Arnold Gold, co-founder of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, was also a Professor of Clinical Neurology and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the school. Dr. Gold, a passionate advocate for humanistic healthcare, believed that the oath taken by new physicians at the end of medical school came too late. Through the nonprofit organization dedicated to humanistic healthcare that he and his wife, Dr. Sandra Gold, started, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation has expanded the White Coat Ceremony around the globe.
Today, hundreds of nursing schools, nearly every medical school in the United States, and many other health profession schools around the globe participate in this tradition of humanistic care.
“Since 1993, The White Coat Ceremony has been an early and essential touchpoint of humanism on the path of a healthcare professional,” said Dr. Richard I. Levin, President and CEO of The Gold Foundation. “Today, as we are facing the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism, the White Coat Ceremony is all the more relevant in emphasizing the importance of the human connection in healthcare. We are grateful for the leadership of Baker College in elevating the message, both during the ceremony and throughout the years of education, that empathy and respect are critical parts of optimal care.”
For more information about the White Coat Ceremony and the Gold Foundation, visit www.gold-foundation.org.
For more information about the Baker College School of Nursing, visit https://www.baker.edu/academics/undergraduate-studies/college-of-health-science/school-of-nursing/.