Coats and Cloaking Procedure
Order white coats (or your school’s equivalent) with plenty of time to allow for any customization (such as embroidered names, or patches), placement of pins and pocket cards, and/or rectification of any error with the order.
Students should receive their white coats before the ceremony. White coats can be hung in alphabetical order or alternatively placed folded on each student’s assigned chair.
Cloaking is typically done as students cross the stage. Select and invite multiple cloakers to keep the process moving smoothly. Schools use a variety of cloakers, such as orientation advisors, department chiefs, faculty mentors, distinguished alumni, family members, etc. Typically, students are cloaked in small groups depending on the number of cloakers. As names are announced, each student takes his or her place in front of a cloaker. Once all students are in place, the cloakers place the coats on their respective students in unison. Then, the next group of students takes their place.
If gifts are given, they can be handed out as the student exits the stage.
Confirm and prepare participants for the process and their roles in the ceremony: who will cloak students, distribute gifts, shake hands, etc. Some schools schedule a brief rehearsal.
For guidance on hosting a virtual ceremony or one with remote components, visit our Medical White Coat Ceremony Toolkit and Nursing White Coat/Oath Ceremony Toolkit which each include a webinar recording on virtual ceremonies and other resources.