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M.D. Orientation

Orientation is an opportunity to get to know your classmates in the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, meet some members of the faculty, explore parts of St. Louis and have fun.


We encourage you to arrive in St. Louis early enough to find housing and so you will be able to participate in and enjoy each event. We look forward to welcoming you and hope that we can make the transition to your first year of medical school as smooth as possible.

Key Orientation Events

First Day of Orientation

Monday, July 27, 2020
Medical Education Union

Parking for the week will be free in the Hickory East Garage at 1214 S. Theresa Ave. across from the Education Union. Casual attire and comfortable shoes are appropriate.

On the first day of orientation, you will be welcomed by several members of the dean's staff who will give you a brief introduction to the School of Medicine and present an information session, followed by a welcome luncheon at noon.

The rest of the week will provide a variety of other information about medical school life and the curriculum, financial aid, perspectives from second- and third-year medical students, and much more.

Plan for social events and activities in the afternoons and evenings to acquaint you with your new environment and your fellow colleagues. Some social events are free, others have nominal costs for tickets and transportation.

Service Day

Friday of Orientation Week is our service day. Small groups of first-year students led by sophomore group leaders will be sent to a variety of locations in the city to participate in a few hours of service to the community. It will be your first chance to give back to areas of our community that are most in need. Students have found this a wonderful opportunity to become involved.

Welcome Week Banquet

Busch Student Center, Wool Ballrooms 

Join your fellow classmates, current medical students and faculty from the School of Medicine in celebrating the beginning of your medical career. The Welcome Week Brunch is held directly before the White Coat Ceremony and is an opportunity for some good food, mingling and an introduction to SLU's student-run free health clinic, the Health Resource Center. Dress is business casual and everyone is invited, so bring your families, significant others, and anyone else who would like to come.  From there, you’ll head over to the White Coat Ceremony in St. Francis Xavier College Church

White Coat Ceremony

St. Francis Xavier College Church

Sponsored by the School of Medicine and the Medical Alumni Association, the White Coat Ceremony is for entering students who will be “cloaked” with their first clinical white coats, the symbol of the medical profession. The ceremony is meant to foster professionalism and humanism in medicine. Parents, spouses and family are invited to attend.

Professional attire such as a sports jacket and a tie, slacks, a blouse or a dress and sweater should be worn.

Entering students must be in the church ballroom (located in the basement) by 11:30 a.m. to be fitted for a coat and have an official picture taken. A group photo will also taken before the ceremony begins. Sign up for orientation week events will be available.

Parents or close family members who are physicians may cloak their own student. Instructions will be given at the ceremony.

First-Year Support Groups

During orientation into the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, you will meet your support group. We hope these groups will provide an initial set of friendly faces and ultimately a resource for personal support and growth.

Support groups consist of five to seven first years, two to three second years and a faculty adviser. Their major function is to provide you with knowledgeable friends to answer questions and help you get situated. Meetings in the first two weeks include lunch or dinner (on SLU) at the home of a faculty member or a restaurant. The dress is casual (shorts or jeans).

Starting Medical School

Your first day of medical school classes will probably remind you of your first day of college. Don’t get frustrated if you get lost; the medical school building can be a little confusing at first.

There is a syllabus for each class; in most cases, this is a lecture outline. Many of the students follow along in the syllabus and fill in their own additions as the lecture proceeds.

The years of medical school are what you make them. If you get started in the right way with good study habits and good personal habits, you’re on the road to becoming a fine physician.