Jefferson Medical College's Class of 2017 donned their white coats and took the Hippocratic oath yesterday in a ceremony at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia.

 

After a pep talk from keynote speaker Dr. Vincenzo Berghella, in which he sought to prepare students for the difficulties and the rewards of medical practice, students sought family members, loved ones or mentors who would "coat" them.

After the future physicians were dressed for the job, Dr. James Plumb lead them in reciting the age-old Hippocratic oath to practice medicine honestly.

The "white coat ceremony," where new medical students don the garb of physicians, is a relatively recent custom. The first one took place at the University of Chicago in 1989.