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A covenant with medicine

Yale Medicine Magazine, 1999 - Fall / 2000 - Winter


As a new year begins, students assume the white coat and all it represents, commune with cadavers and embark on the artful, humanistic experiment that is medicine.

In early September, following seven years of tradition, members of the Class of 2003 donned the white coats that symbolize their entry into the society of healers. “Today is about making your covenant with medicine,” Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., told the students, adding that medicine is not a profession, but a calling. “It is something that captures you, entrances you, and keeps you entranced for the rest of your life.”

In her remarks, Associate Dean Nancy Angoff, M.D., urged students to remember why they want to practice medicine. “We know you will learn the facts,” she told the incoming students. “What we don’t want to happen is for any of you to forget the human element in medicine, the patient’s story. Never let your white coat speak for you.”