Parents of the Class of 2005 experienced a memorable event as they watched their students don white coats during the School of Dentistry’s Second Annual White Coat Ceremony April 12 at the Clinic Auditorium at the School of Medicine. Attended by more than 250 family members, friends, fellow students, and faculty, the ceremony marked the culmination of the first year of didactic learning and the right of passage into the clinical phase of dental education
The white coat is symbolic. Students are not permitted to wear them when treating patients in the dental clinics because they do not meet current infection control standards. The white coat represents society’s fundamental belief in a system in which doctors are experts, and in which doctors are healers. Along with that, the coat conveys a sense of purpose, which helps reassure patients and gain their confidence. The wearer of a white coat is expected to care for patients, not only by providing quality care, but also by respecting the patient. The coat symbolizes competence, but it must also signify compassion.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the Alumni Garden at the School of Dentistry.