Medical Students of the University of Peradeniya (UoP) recently held their traditional ‘White Coat Ceremony’to re-emphasise the responsibilities and commitment of a medical student in developing humanism in healthcare that encompasses all the competencies and professionalism in medicine. The traditional of White Coat Ceremonies was initiated in Pritzker School of Medicine in the University of Chicago in 1989. Later, in 1993, in Colombia University of Physicians & Surgeons, a foundation was established for humanism and patient-centred care in medicine. Professor Arnold P Gold, initiated white coat ceremonies to establish the culture of humanism.
In a 'White Coat Ceremony" students are cloaked in white coats by an eminent teacher, amidst blessings from their teachers and parents, and they will recite the Hippocratic oath or a similar oath developed in the institution. This year the UoP's Faculty of Medicine conducted its 9th 'White Coat Ceremony' under the patronage of its Vice- Chancellor (VC) Prof Upul B. Dissanayaka, with 240 Medical students robed before they commenced their clinical practice. After the inspirational lectures delivered by VC Prof Dissanayaka, Prof Asiri Abeygunwardana, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Chief Guest Professor Ranil Fernando of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, the entire group jointly recited the students pledge.