The White Coat Ceremony At medical schools all over the country, first-year students participate in a ceremony that seems like an ancient ritual, but is actually less that 10 years old -- the white coat ceremony. White coats were adopted by doctors to make their profession seem more scientific. But the white coat ceremony was designed to instill values of caring and compassion in doctors. Commentator Joe Wright isn't sure that the ceremony is enough to instill those values. (2:45)
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The White Coat Ceremony

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The White Coat Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/861964/861965" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

At medical schools all over the country, first-year students participate in a ceremony that seems like an ancient ritual, but is actually less that 10 years old — the white coat ceremony. White coats were adopted by doctors to make their profession seem more scientific. But the white coat ceremony was designed to instill values of caring and compassion in doctors. Commentator Joe Wright isn't sure that the ceremony is enough to instill those values. (2:45)