Invitation to Cover

PHILADELPHIA – The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania will bestow short white coats on 159 first-year medical school students at its annual White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. During the yearly rite of passage, students will be individually garbed in short white clinicians’ coats – a vivid symbol of the medical profession – and will receive a stethoscope in the presence of family, friends, and faculty. At the conclusion, the entire class will recite the Hippocratic Oath, pledging to treat the ill to the best of their abilities, preserve each patient's privacy, and to teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation.

This year’s ceremony honors PSOM’s prestigious legacy as the nation’s first medical school while highlighting its reputation as an innovative leader in medical education that consistently places PSOM among the top five best medical schools in the United States. For example, students will be surrounded by digital messages of encouragement from family and friends using #psomwhitecoat via a real-time social media gallery wall that will be displayed on stage. As a nod to tradition, in the pocket of each white coat students will find handwritten notes from PSOM alumni offering personal messages of support and guidance. One student, Yvette Schein, will have her 102-year-old grandfather and PSOM alumnus Joseph Schein, MD, class of 1941, in the audience to celebrate the start of their family’s next generation of PSOM-trained physicians.

The 2017 incoming class also upholds PSOM’s long tradition of diversity. Nearly 20 percent of this year’s class represents students who are the first members of their family to graduate college and 25 percent of the class is comprised of underrepresented minorities in the field of medicine, including American Indian, Hispanic, and African American students. Members of the incoming class come from fields and backgrounds that range from athletes to artists to musicians in addition to degrees in more traditional science backgrounds such as biology and chemistry. Students hail from 28 states – Pennsylvania represents the largest portion with 32 students – and more than 60 colleges and universities.


Irvine Auditorium
University of Pennsylvania
3401 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


August 11, 2017, 3p.m. to 5 p.m. (**White Coat presentation starts at 3:40 p.m.**)


Speakers will include:

  • 3:05 p.m. – J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and dean of the Perelman School of Medicine, presents welcoming remarks
  • 3:15 p.m. - Keynote address by Amy Pruitt, MD, a professor of Neurology and director of Medical Student Education for Neurology. Pruitt has received that Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching as well as four Penn Pearls Awards presented by the medical students for outstanding teaching.
  • 3:40 p.m. – White coats presented by Gail Morrison, MD, senior vice dean for Education and director of the Office of Academic Programs, and Stanley Goldfarb, MD, associate dean for Curriculum

*Incoming student Yvette Schein to receive white coat; her 102-year-old grandfather and PSOM alumnus Joseph Schein, MD, will be in attendance. Both are available for interviews after the ceremony.

  • 4:35 p.m. – Incoming class recites Hippocratic Oath

The Penn Medicine Department of Communications can arrange interviews with students and speakers. All media planning to cover the event must check-in with Johanna Harvey (215-873-3870) at the main entrance

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $405 million awarded in the 2017 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report — Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital – the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, a leading provider of highly skilled and compassionate behavioral healthcare.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2017, Penn Medicine provided $500 million to benefit our community.

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