School of Medicine Holds White Coat Ceremony for Class of 2022

by Maggie Rotermund on 07/31/2018
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On Sunday, Saint Louis University welcomed the next generation of researchers and healers to campus. The White Coat Ceremony marks the entrée of a class of students into the medical profession. 

The Saint Louis University School of Medicine Class of 2022. Photo by Kabance Photo Services. The Saint Louis University School of Medicine Class of 2022. Photo by Kabance Photo Services.

During the ceremony, incoming Saint Louis University School of Medicine students are cloaked in their first white coat as a symbol of the trust being bestowed upon them to carry on the honorable tradition of doctoring.

The white coat ceremony for the Class of 2022 was held Sunday, July 29, at St. Francis Xavier College Church.  

“Medicine is a vocation, a calling for a special few who enjoy the rigor of learning a new language and translating the acquisition of knowledge into a skill set that compassionately cares for patients,” Kevin Behrns, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, told students during the ceremony. “Medicine is a calling of service to others - a rich experience that continually rewards the physician.”  

The Class of 2022 is comprised of 177 men and women from 29 states and 11 different countries. Forty-one students are coming to SLU from California, while 34 first-year students are Missouri residents.

Class members graduated from 89 different colleges and universities. The group enters medical school with nine masters degrees. 

Twenty-five members of the class received their undergraduate degree at Saint Louis University.  The University of California system, Washington University in St. Louis, Rockhurst University, Loyola University Chicago and the University of Missouri-Columbia also have multiple alums counted among SLU's first-year medical students. 

“The white coat ceremony is a tremendously exciting event, in which medical students receive the garment that is the symbol of the profession, and thus begin their journey into their medical training,” said Jamie Sutherall, M.D., MEd, associate dean of student affairs. “The thrill of the day is palpable, and it is such an honor to share that moment with the parents, friends, and significant others of the incoming students.”


Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: infectious disease, liver disease, cancer, heart/lung disease, and aging and brain disorders.