Sequel to the success of the 2K21 class in their first professional exam, the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (CoMUI) welcomed successful candidates with a 2-week long busy orientation program which culminated in a grand function— the White Coat Ceremony. The White Coat Ceremony is a ritual of passage performed in many medical schools in some parts of the world to mark students’ transition from preclinical school to clinical school. It signifies an entry into the field of Medicine, though still undergraduates.

The students are officially “coated” with their white coats, made to take the Hippocratic oath and are encouraged to uphold humanistic values in the practice.

It was barely few minutes after 9am on Friday 17th September, 2021 and the palpable excitement at the Paul Hendrickse Lecture theatre continued to garner momentum with immaculately dressed celebrants arriving in troops until the program commenced at 10am.

Dignitaries including the Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. Olayinka Omigbodun; Deputy Provost, Prof. Fatai Adeniyi; Director, College of Medicine Education Unit, Prof. A. A. Odukogbe; Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo (represented); Dean, Faculty of Public Health, Prof. R. E. Godson, among others, were present at the event. They took turns in addressing the students, giving them pieces of advice which they reckoned would be beneficial to the students. The Provost, Prof. Olayinka Omigbodun, in her speech educated the students on the concept, history and significance of the White Coat Ceremony.

The UIMSA President, Olaoluwa Olorunfemi and the ABH Chairman, Olaoye Jegede were also present at the event and addressed the beaming students.
The robing with white coats and oath-taking occurred after all the addresses had been taken. The provost reminded the participants that the oath which is a replica of the Hippocratic oath sworn by physicians had undergone some prior modifications. The ceremony was brough to a close at 1pm.

ABH Press joined in the excitement and managed to capture the reaction of the newest entrants into the clinical arm.
In a long conversation with a member of the 2K21 class, he was quoted as saying “I must mention that the MB exam for a lot of us was quite daunting. At least there was the awareness of the possibility of not passing. In fact, one of the lecturers mentioned that the exam is the rate limiting step of our training. So, it was a big deal for all of us.

Knowing that you passed it made the white coat ceremony for us an immediate reward and a symbolic ceremony that says, ‘You succeeded.’ I think everyone I saw there was very excited. Everybody smiled. And we took a lot of pictures. I myself spent about 45 minutes taking pictures after the event. I don’t think there was anyone gloomy at the ceremony. Many people arrived early at the venue. The college organized the program well. It was indeed a memorable event. I felt grateful to God at the event. There was even a particular song that was coming to my mind. Yes, I was happy but not over excited. I was calm but extremely grateful.”

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