White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2014
Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine
welcomed the Class of 2014 to the Veterinary Medical Profession
at the 12th Annual Convocation, also known as the White Coat
Ceremony on Friday, August 20, 2010.
History of the White Coat Ceremony
The White Coat Ceremony, established by Dr. Arnold Gold at Columbia
University Medical School in 1993, was designed to impress upon students,
physicians and the public the important symbolic role of the white coat in
patient-doctor interactions. Gold argued that students were reciting the
Hippocratic Oath four years too late-upon their graduation from medical school.
He felt the oath and the conferring of white coats would be better done at the
start of medical school, when students receive their first exposure to clinical
medicine. The White Coat Ceremony provides a mechanism by which values that are
key to our profession can be openly articulated and carefully considered in the
company of peers, parents, partners and faculty.
The College of Veterinary Medicine has embraced the spirit of this exercise.
You will find that our ceremony has been appropriately modified for
veterinary medical students. It includes an induction into the Veterinary
Medical College, whereupon each student will receive a coat, generously
donated by the Idaho and Washington State Veterinary Medical Associations.
As a group, the students recite a "Veterinary Student Oath".
Dr. Bryan Slinker, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. John Cannon, Vice President, Washington State Veterinary Medical
Dr Aprill Scherman, Idaho Veterinary Medical Association
Dr. Barry Watson, Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Dr. Michael Clem
Director, Worldwide Product Development
Johnson & Johnson Company
Presentation of White Coats
Dr. Doug Jasmer, Associate Dean and Miguel Inzunza, Student Services
Veterinary Student Oath,
Dr. Steve Parish, Veterinary Clinical Science
Keynote Address by Dr. Michael Clem
Michael F. Clem, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS
Dr. Michael Clem is Director, Worldwide
Product Development for Ethicon
Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson
company. In this role he leads early
stage concept development to generate
innovative new products to improve
patient care. Prior to this position he
was Vice President, Advanced R&D for
Cordis Corporation. Over his 18 year
career with J&J he has held positions of
increasing responsibility in concept
development, business development, and
preclinical research with Ethicon
Endo-Surgery, Ethicon and Cordis. In
these roles he has contributed to the
understanding and development of
processes for concept development and
project management leading to new
medical devices and procedures. He is
named as an inventor on 26 issued US
patents and as author or co-author of
over 90 published papers, abstracts and
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson,
Dr. Clem was Supervisor of Experimental
Surgery at the University of Texas
Health Sciences Center, San Antonio.
Trained as a veterinary surgeon, he was
Assistant Professor, Equine Surgery in
the College of Veterinary Medicine at
Kansas State University, before entering
the medical device development field.
Dr. Clem is a Diplomate of the American
College of Veterinary Surgeons and holds
a BS from New Mexico State University,
MS from Kansas State University, and a
DVM from Washington State University.
Hills Pet Nutrition Inc.
Washington State Veterinary Medical Association
Veterinary Medical Association
Veterinary Student Oath (adapted from the
As a veterinary student in the Washington State University College of
Veterinary Medicine, I promise to work conscientiously to develop my scientific
and medical knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the
protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of
animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical
Throughout my time here as a student, I will conduct myself with dignity and
professionalism, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical
ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my
professional knowledge and competence.