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White Coat Ceremony


Each year we formally induct third-year DVM students into the veterinary profession with a White Coat Ceremony. During the ceremony, the incoming class is “cloaked” with a white laboratory coat, a traditional symbol of the medical sciences. The program was started at CVM by Dr. Ed Smallwood (professor of anatomy, retired) in 2000.

Through their involvement in the meaningful ritual at the beginning of veterinary school, student-veterinarians become more aware of their professional responsibilities. The ceremony impresses upon them the primacy of the veterinarian-patient-client relationship. It encourages them to accept the obligations inherent in the practice of veterinary medicine; to be excellent in science, compassionate, and lead lives of uprightness and honor. It emphasizes for students the veterinarian’s responsibility to take care of patients. The message conveyed is that veterinarians should care as well as cure.


Joseph Wiggins

[​​Augustine Wiggins, ​​Brother​ ​Salisbury, NC]​ “It is extremely heart-warming to have my brother present me for such a prestigious honor. We were raised under the loving care of our grandparents and were molded into dignified men. We motivated each other every step of the way and I just wanted to say Thank you bro! I love you!”

Amie Pflaum

[Janet and Stuart Pflaum, Parents La Plata, MD​]​ “A three-decade long journey has finally brought me here today. Every step of the way, my parents have been there to cheer, prod, console, celebrate, mentor, and unconditionally love and support me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today, or stand before you now, without both of them in my life. Thank you, mom and dad. I love you.”

Sahar S. Ahmad

[Dr. Heather Moeser​ DVM, Former owner of Downtown Mobile Vet]​ “Dr. Moeser was my guiding light throughout my journey to veterinary medicine. Her generosity, wisdom and passion for the field are what push me to be the best I can be in everything I do. Without her, my dream to become a veterinarian would be just that: a dream. Thank you, Dr. Moeser, for being my mentor and motivator.”

 The Oath 

At the time of being admitted as a member of the veterinary medical profession:

I solemnly pledge myself to dedicate my life to the relief of pain and suffering and to sound veterinary practice;

I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due;

I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity; The health of my patient will be my first consideration;

I will use discretion in discussing the veterinary medical concerns of my patients;

I will maintain by all means in my power, the honor and noble traditions of the veterinary medical profession;

I will respect the opinion of my colleagues;

I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.