35th Fall Convocation — White Coat & Pinning Ceremony
Fall Convocation is one of only two occasions that bring together the Morehouse School
of Medicine President and Dean, Board of Trustees, academic and institutional leadership,
faculty and alumni in a formal academic setting focused entirely on students. The
other, of course, is graduation, commencement. These bookend events – one for those
just arriving, the other for those departing – represent the academic circle of life.
At MSM, Convocation recognizes and celebrates the incoming class of students, and
serves as the official kickoff of the new academic year. It is a pivotal time and
transformational experience for the first-year students who represent our Doctor of
Medicine, Physician Assistant Studies, Graduate Education in Biological Sciences and
Master of Public Health programs.
Included in the proceedings is the time-honored tradition of the White Coat and Pinning
Ceremony. Incoming MPH students receive blue blazers and pins symbolizing their entrance
into a field dedicated to protecting the public health and welfare of our communities.
First-year MD and – this year, for the first time ever – Physician Assistant students
receive their white coats, and GEBS students are fitted with their lab coats as symbols
of the trust bestowed upon them as they carry on the noble traditions of medicine
and science. GEBS students also receive pins.
We hope you will be able to join us as we welcome another generation of learners who
soon will be leading the creation and advancement of health equity.
Schedule of events
New student welcome reception
Thursday, Sept. 19, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: E. Ginger Sullivan Atrium, Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary
Fall Convocation — White Coat and Pinning Ceremony
Friday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m. – noon
Location: Auditorium, Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care
Parking will be limited. For additional parking information, please view parking information below.
Franklyn Geary Jr.
Our Convocation Speaker
Franklyn Geary Jr., MD, FACOG
Residency Program Director and Professor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Geary credits his mother for his love of teaching and his father for his compassion.
The native Atlantan is professor in Morehouse School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics
and Gynecology and double-board certified in General Obstetrics and Gynecology and
in Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Following graduation from Atlanta Public Schools, Dr. Geary earned a BA degree in
Chemistry from Emory College of Emory University. While at Emory, he actively participated
in organizations such as Mortarboard, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Pi Alpha
Chemical Fraternity, Eta Sigma Phi Latin Fraternity, the Black Student Alliance, and
the Emory Senior Society. He was elected in Who’s Who Among American Colleges and
Universities. He is a charter member of Emory’s first black Greek organization, Alpha
Phi Alpha Fraternity, founded March 27, 1976. Read full bio
MSM Learning Communities
All incoming students are grouped into learning communities, student-led and mentor-facilitated educational sessions that take place in a supportive
Making a Commitment
As they take the next step in their journey to becoming physicians, scientists, researchers,
public health leaders and other health professionals, our entering students make a
verbal commitment during the ceremony, dedicating themselves to upholding the highest
professional and ethical standards.
Click title to view full pledge
- MD students — Medical Student Oath to Service and Responsibility
Medical Student Oath to Service and Responsibility
As I begin the study of medicine, I do solemnly swear by that which I hold most sacred,
that my efforts will be focused on the ultimate goal of serving my future patients.
Toward this end, I will conscientiously and cooperatively work with my peers and professors
in learning the art and science of medicine. I will regard the patients whom I will
encounter in my training, as fellow human beings, and will do everything in my power
to preserve their dignity. I will not compromise myself, nor endanger the welfare
of my future patients by employing unworthy methods in the pursuit of my education.
I pledge to perform to the best of my ability and to engage in continuous self- evaluation
in an effort to address my limitations. I will never hesitate to call upon the assistance
of others when indicated.
I recognize that the study of medicine is a life-long responsibility; I pledge to
continue to educate myself throughout my career and to constantly engage in a critical
re-examination of myself as a rational, emotional, and spiritual human being.
- PA students — Physician Assistant Professional Oath
Physician Assistant Professional Oath
I pledge to perform the following duties with honesty and dedication:
- I will hold as my primary responsibility the health, safety, welfare and dignity of
all human beings.
- I will uphold the tenets of patient autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence and justice.
- I will recognize and promote the value of diversity.
- I will treat equally all persons who seek my care.
- I will hold in confidence the information shared in the course of practicing medicine.
- I will assess my personal capabilities and limitations, striving always to improve
my medical practice.
- I will actively seek to expand my knowledge and skills, keeping abreast of advances
- I will work with other members of the health care team to provide compassionate and
effective care of patients.
- I will use my knowledge and experience to contribute to an improved community.
- I will respect my professional relationship with the physician.
- I will share and expand knowledge within the profession.
These duties are pledged with sincerity and upon my honor.
- GEBS students — A Scientist’s Pledge
A Scientist’s Pledge
I accept this opportunity to follow the difficult and rewarding path of biomedical
science and clinical research.
I will endeavor to honor all those who have contributed to this opportunity by always
working to the utmost of my abilities and by increasing those abilities when possible.
I will strive to advance fundamental knowledge about all living things.
I pledge to use my energy, intellect and education to enhance the lives of all mankind,
understanding that often the greatest strides are made through efforts to assist the
dispossessed and underprivileged in our world.
I will carefully consider and remain mindful of the ethical implications of my work.
I will never use my gifts and skills to intentionally harm any individual, or group.
In planning and carrying out my work, I will treat this planet and all its life forms
with honor and respect.
I will honor and respect the efforts of my teachers, taking great care always to give
credit where credit is due and always humbly understanding that all that I see, I
see by standing on the shoulders of the many scientists who have gone before me.
I will also honor and respect my students and all who rely on that which I have learned,
striving to truthfully and openly disclose all my methods, findings, and conclusions
So long as I adhere to this pledge, may I have continued success in the field of biomedical
science and clinical research.
- MPH students — International Declaration of Health Rights
International Declaration of Health Rights
Health requires peaceful and equitable development and collaboration of all peoples.
The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental
rights of every human being. It is not a privilege for those with power, money, or
Health is more than the absence of disease, but includes prevention of illness, development
of individual potential, a positive sense of physical, mental, and social well-being.
Health care should be based on dialogue and collaboration between citizens, professions,
communities, and policy makers. Health service should be affordable, accessible, effective,
efficient, and convenient.
Health begins with healthy development of the child and a positive family environment.
Health must be sustained by the active role of men and women in health and development.
The role of women and their welfare must be recognized and addressed.
Health care for the elderly should preserve dignity, respect, and concern for a sustainable
environment with balanced human populations growth and preservation of cultural diversity.
Health depends on the availability to people of basic elements: Food, safe water,
housing, education, productive employment, protection from pollution, and prevention
of social alienation.
Health depends on protection from exploitation without distinction of race, religion,
political-belief, economic or social condition.
OATH: WE as people concerned about health improvement in the world do hereby commit ourselves
to advocacy and action to promote the health rights of all human beings.
Due to our rapid growth and associated construction projects, on-campus parking is
extremely limited at this time, particularly on weekdays when classes and regular
campus operations are under way. We highly recommend that students and their families carpool to Convocation, use public transportation—the
closest MARTA stop is the West End station—or take a rideshare service such as Lyft or Uber. MSM
police will be directing traffic to appropriate parking locations.
The parking garage entrance is located on Lee Street. Overflow parking is available
in the Morehouse College parking garage, 830 Westview Dr SW, a brief walk from the
MSM campus. The college is graciously waiving the normal visitors parking fee for
our guests at this event. Visitors with mobility considerations may be dropped off
and picked up at the Westview Drive entrance/NCPC circle drive.