"White coats are often seen as the classic dress of physicians, and medical schools around the country, including Upstate, have begun using 'white coat ceremonies' as an initiation into medical school. But indeed these white coats were stolen from scientists.
Over 100 years ago, in 1910 Flexner came out with his report that changed physician education. Until that time physicians wore black and were fraught with quackery and mysticism. This is in contrast to scientists who were provided considerable respect and high esteem. In order to emphasize a new form of medicine based on scientific principles, physicians began wearing the white coats of their scientist colleagues.
Hence, it is only fitting that we steal that ceremony back from them."
—Dr. Mark Schmitt, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, as he presented our first year graduate students with their customized, white lab coats