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School of Medicine Greenville

White Coat Ceremony at School of Medicine Greenville

Well before Kyle Jardim received his white coat, he had been thinking about what it symbolizes.  

“This white coat designates us as medical students,” said Jardim, first year medical student at School of Medicine Greenville (SOMG), and the Oscar H. Greer Scholarship recipient. “It is a commitment to ourselves and our future patients — that we are going to be the best physicians we can be and do what we can to improve the health care of our community.”

It was a bright, warm and breezy September afternoon Sept. 24 as Jardim and his fellow USC School of Medicine Greenville (SOMG) first-year students celebrated a key moment in their medical-education journey.

More than 100 first-year medical students put on their white coats for the first time at a ceremony held at Fluor Field stadium. 

“We welcome them into the medical profession as physicians-in-training on this gorgeous day at the iconic Fluor Field,” said SOMG Dean Marjorie Jenkins.

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students across the country and was created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993. The white coat represents professionalism and the weight of the heavy responsibility entrusted upon a future physician, according to the American Medical Association, and is conferred on new students during a ceremony held at the beginning of their medical school experience. 

When people see this coat, they think that we are here to help them. I feel like this is an induction into the medical community. I look forward to all my classes, and in my third year (during clerkship) to watching how physicians work with their patients and starting to put all my learning together for the benefit of patients.

- SOMG first-year medical student Evan Case

Garrett Kaufman plans to be warning folks that he is a medical student for a while. “But I hope to take all that I learn and gain the experience and confidence to apply it correctly,” said Kaufman. 

SOMG first-year medical students donned their white coats, a symbol of their entry into the medical profession, and pledged their commitment to the profession and to the health of the patients they will serve. White coats were placed on students’ shoulders by faculty and administrators, as well as scholarship donors, at the Class of 2027 White Coat Ceremony. The moment comes after years of preparation and a very stressful year — from applications to starting medical school — and marks their entry into the truly unique community of the medical profession, said Dr. Jonathan Gleason, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Prisma Health.

“These students are on the team now,” Dr. Gleason said moments before the more than 100 medical students received their white coats. “They have the jersey.”

See the ceremony program and list of the full Class of 2027. 

“I am so excited,” said student Jakayla Taylor, from Florence, S.C., and the Greenville Drive Scholarship recipient, who looks forward to upgrading from her scrubs she has worn during internships previously. 

Yet the hard work of the first year of medical school continues. 

“We just started a new module,” Taylor said. 

“Much like other firsts, you will definitely remember when you received your white coat,” Dean Jenkins told medical students at the ceremony Sept. 24. 

“You will also remember the first baby that you helped deliver on your OB-GYN rotation — will remember helping bring that life into the world,” said Dean Jenkins. “And you will also remember when you help a family through after the passing of a life. Because that is what we do as physicians. You are joining the very best profession in the world.”  

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