SP10: The long white coat ceremony for residents and faculty in family medicine

Presentation Notes

Presented at 2016 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference Abstracts; May 1, 2016.


PURPOSE/BACKGROUND: White Coat Ceremonies (WCC) take place at 97% of U.S. accredited allopathic medical schools. Residency training also marks an important transition. However, a 2015 web search revealed few residency focused WCC and minimal description of methods or participant reactions. To meet this gap, we describe a WCC for family medicine residents and faculty. METHODS: Since June 2009, Aurora Health Care’s Family Medicine Residency Program has hosted a WCC to acculturate new residents to their entrusted roles as FM physicians. The 1-hour ceremony is moderated by a Sr faculty member with PD/APDs highlighting the values that drew them to FM through personal stories, poetry, images, and a brief white coat history. New residents then receive their white coat from a PGY3 or faculty advisor. Post 2015 event, a brief questionnaire was distributed to obtain attendees perceptions regarding the WCC. RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS: 60% response rate (58/97); 79% agreed that the event is an important transition ceremony for our residency program. Open-ended responses highlight key features: welcoming residents to the “family”, “white coat” wearers’ roles, and reaffirmation for faculty/staff of FM values.

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