Students recite woke pledge during white coat ceremony
University of Minnesota Medical School students recited an oath that commits to fighting oppression during a white coat ceremony.
"Our institution is located on Dakota land…We commit to uprooting the legacy and perpetuation of structural violence deeply embedded within the health care system," the students stated.
The University of Minnesota Medical School (UMMS) class of 2026 recited an oath during the white coat ceremony that included references to anti-racism, climate advocacy, commitment toward indigenous ways of healing, and collaboration with political and social systems.
A handout provided at the ceremony indicated the oath was written by the oath writing committee, which comprised fifteen medical students in the class of 2026.
Students began the oath by stating, "Our institution is located on Dakota land…We commit to uprooting the legacy and perpetuation of structural violence deeply embedded within the health care system."
"We recognize the inequities built by past and present traumas rooted in white supremacy, colonialism, the gender binary, ableism, and all other forms of oppression," the oath continued.
UMMS Media Relations Manager Kat Dodge told Campus Reform that "[i]t is a common practice at medical schools in the United States to build upon the intent of the Hippocratic Oath to promote humility, integrity, and beneficence.”
“Each year at the University of Minnesota Medical School, the incoming students work with faculty to write an oath that reflects these core elements, values, and ethics the class aspires to uphold,” Dodge explained.
The medical students pledged “to honor all Indigenous ways of healing” that are “historically marginalized by Western medicine."
UMMS students also committed to climate advocacy stating, "health is intimately connected to our environment, we commit to healing our planet and communities."
“In light of [the white coats’Heal] legacy as a symbol of power, prestige, and dominance, we strive to reclaim their identity as a symbol of responsibility, humility, and loving-kindness,” the oath concluded.