MORRISTOWN, NJ – In a converse ceremony to the traditional white coat ceremony, the otolaryngology residency graduation at Upstate Medical Center in New Jersey will now include a white coat burning ceremony. Newly-appointed residency director and laryngologist, Dr. Katherine Tibbetts, was responsible for the change.
“I just finished residency a couple of years ago and remember the immense feeling of relief of having finished off five years of grueling unrewarding training and never having to wear that dirty white coat again,” Tibbetts explained. “I wanted symbolize this feeling and make sure the graduating residents felt the way I do.”
Therefore, starting this year the three graduating residents will ritualistically stuff their white coats into a metal drum barrel, douse them with gasoline, and then light them afire.
“Honestly, it’s probably good that we’re getting rid of these gross things. Who knows what type of multidrug resistant nonsense is growing on them? We checked with the Infectious Disease people, and they were all in favor. They want to get rid of white coats altogether and if it serves a cathartic purpose, even better.”
The white coat burning ceremony will take place prior to the residents receiving their diploma. Dancing wildly around the barrel is encouraged but not necessary.
“We wanted to include a ‘Smashing of the Pagers’ part as well where the graduating residents would get to destroy their pagers with sledgehammers,” Tibbetts continued. “However, the medical administration refused. Apparently no one makes these pagers anymore and we have to conserve them for incoming residents. We’re still working on it, but one battle at a time.