More important than the day students graduate, the day that they begin medical school marks the start of their responsibilities as a health professional. Students accept the obligation to demonstrate respect, become a teacher, and embody humanism. This ceremony symbolizes the first step into being a professional, rather than a step toward becoming a professional. As they are welcomed into the Duke community of medical professionals, students are urged to reflect upon and look forward to proclaiming the commitment to medicine at this most distinctive ceremonial event.
White coats and stethoscopes are provided to the students by the Duke Medical Alumni Association.