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36th Fall Convocation and White Coat & Pinning Ceremony

Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 | 10 a.m.
Livestreaming on YouTube

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 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.

A Different Approach This Year

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to revise the event. Anyone taking part has tested negative for the coronavirus in order to be on campus. Participating students and faculty will be spread out across campus to ensure appropriate social distancing space. Students will don their own coats and pins during the ceremony rather than having them put on by faculty members or alumni. And of course, facemasks are mandatory.

The multiple locations are connected via Zoom to the NCPC Auditorium so participants may both watch and take part in the ceremony. We are livestreaming the event on the MSM YouTube channel (see below) for family and friends to watch the proceedings.

Although it will look a little different, we are working hard to make sure the event is as memorable as always. 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.

Welcome Reception

MSM 36th Fall Convocation and White Coat & Pinning Ceremony

Daniel E. Dawes, JDDaniel E. Dawes, JD

Our Convocation Speaker

Daniel E. Dawes, JD
Executive Director
Satcher Health Leadership Institute

Daniel E. Dawes, JD, a widely respected lawyer, author, scholar, educator, and leader in the health equity, health reform, and mental health movements, is director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine and a professor of health law, policy and management. He co-founded the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network, a nationwide network of over 2,000 governmental and non-governmental leaders and scholars.

Dawes' research focuses on the drivers of health inequities among under-resourced, vulnerable, and marginalized communities and is the pioneer of a new approach to examining inequities, the political determinants of health. 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 team environment.

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 in medicine.
    • 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 social standing. 

    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.