First Year Medical Students




Welcome to Duke and Durham!  We have designed an Orientation Week that is intended to help you get to know more about Durham and the Duke campus, meet your classmates, deans and faculty, and hear about the resources available to you as a Duke student.  Between the scavenger hunt "tour" of the Duke campus on your first day to welcoming you into the profession of Medicine at the White Coat Ceremony on Friday evening, we hope you'll find the week to be a useful immersion experience.  Please review the "Orientation Documents" links on this page, including the most recent schedule for the week.

Please continue to check this page for updates and additions prior to Orientation Week!

Feel free to contact us at (919) 668-1670 if you have any questions or concerns. You can also email the Student Affairs Office:

Some of the activities taking place during Orientation include:

The advisory deans and their advisees go to four Durham schools to help them prepare for the upcoming school year.  Afterwards, everyone goes shopping to prepare for the group dinner.

Each group cooks a different part of the menu, and then enjoys dinner with their deans and fellow medical students.

Orientation Documents

Please read and review these links and respond as indicated on each document.

White Coat Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony is a symbol of entry into the profession of medicine, and is a very important defining moment for first year medical students.

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.

The White Coat Ceremony for the entering class of 2016 is scheduled for Friday, August 5, 2016.  There will be a 5 pm reception at Schaefer Mall in the Bryan Center, followed by the Ceremony at 6 pm in nearby Reynolds Theater.  Parking is in the Bryan Center garage.  Space for 3 guests each is guaranteed; if you have more guests please email the Student Affairs Office: