IOWA CITY — Local students who will begin their medical education at the University of Iowa were recently honored at the Carver College of Medicine’s annual Arnold P. Gold Foundation White Coat Ceremony for first-year students.

The event welcomed the college's class of 2026, and it represented the first time these future physicians would recite the Oath of Hippocrates, calling attention to the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.

Noah Gritters, of Pella; Lucy Olson, of Knoxville; and Wade Pingel, of Pella, are among the class of 2026.

The White Coat Ceremony is a celebrated experience as students enter medical school. In the presence of family, guests and faculty members, students are welcomed into the medical community by leaders of the medical center and ceremonially "cloaked" with their white coat. Then, dressed in white, they stand to take the ancient Oath of Hippocrates, traditionally sworn at graduation.

By establishing this meaningful ritual at the beginning of medical school, the college hopes students will become aware of their responsibilities from the first day of training. The ceremony is intended to impress upon them the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship. It encourages them to enter into a psychological contract in which they accept the obligations inherent in the practice of medicine: to be excellent in science, to be compassionate and to lead lives of "uprightness and honor." It is designed to clarify for students that a physician's responsibility is to take care of patients and also to care for patients. The message transmitted is that doctors should "care" as well as "cure."

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