News & Events

White coat ceremony for past AYA Program staff


Peer Navigators Becca Burns and Sabrina Karim, along with Research Assistant Liz Kiernan, departed the AYA Program over the summer to pursue a Degree in Medicine.  In what has become a rite of passage for medical students, each recently received their white coat symbolizing their entrance into the medical profession.

Becca white coat 1
Becca is attending Rush University in Chicago.  

Sabrina white coat 1
Sabrina is in Pennsylvania and is going to the University of Pittsburgh. 

Liz white coat 
Liz is enrolled at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.  

Have you heard about the White Coat Ceremony? 

Created by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the White Coat Ceremony “emphasizes the importance of compassionate care as well as scientific proficiency” and is the event at which students receive their white coats.  The ceremony has been in place for just over two decades.  First held at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in 1993, today the ceremony, or a similar equivalent, is enacted at 97% of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)-accredited schools of medicine in the US and Canada.

Did you know white hasn’t always been the color of choice to represent physicians? 

According to a historical narrative published in the AMA (American Medical Association) Journal of Ethics doctors, until about 1900, wore black.  Black was associated with the serious and formal matters of health care.  Article author Mark Hochberg, MD, noted “At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, when medicine became the truly scientific enterprise we now know, the ‘whiteness’ or ‘pureness’ of medicine became reflected in the garb of physicians and, interestingly, nurses.”

Please join us in congratulating Becca, Sabrina and Liz!