"Medicine is considered a profession because of, in part, the strength of bonds among physicians. Certified to educate and police one another, Physicians accrue responsibility for one another's competence and conscience."
Rita Charon JAMA 286(15):1900
I am now writing this after our White Coat Ceremony weekend - which was absolutely lovely. Before medical school, I was both in awe of and appalled by the idea of the white coat. I think my feelings about it have become even more complex lately.
Our keynote speaker was incredible and he ended his speech by saying, never forget that your white coat makes people feel comfortable telling you things they've probably not told anyone; that it allows you the honor and privilege of hearing someone say, "thank you, you saved my life" and mean it; but it also means you'll have to say "time of death..." someday. It's pretty heavy for a piece of cheap white cotton/polyester.