AURORA, Colo. - White coats were given to 50 second-year dental students last week during the annual School of Dental Medicine (SODM) White Coat Ceremony.
The white coat symbolizes a milestone in their quest to become dentists. After 18 months of rigorous study and training in the dental simulation lab, anatomy lab, and lectures, the students are set to begin working with patients in SODM clinics.
Students must pass a board exam before receiving their coat and the ability to transition to patient care.
Sponsored and financially supported by the SODM as well as the Colorado chapters of the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy, each student received a white coat with their name embroidered on it.
In her welcoming address, Dean Denise Kassebaum, DDS, MS, told the students, "Today we celebrate and mark the transition from dental student to dental care provider. The educational experiences that our students will begin soon involve direct patient care and will change their lives forever. Members of the Class of 2014, from now on, you will be called upon to exhibit and demonstrate the virtues of altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, honor, respect for others and compassion. Your patients will place their trust in you and you must see this as a privilege."
White Coat Ceremony keynote speaker Thomas Pixley, DDS, president of the Colorado Dental Association and graduate of the 1986 CU Dental Class, told the students, "Those who have cloaked you in the white coat today do so with faith and confidence in you to take this leap forward in your dental career. They will continue to guide you in a path of virtue and excellence that will define you as a professional."
The Colorado Dental Association is an organization committed to supporting organized dentistry in Colorado, serving more than 3,100 members and represents more than 80 percent of the licensed dentists in Colorado.
The white coat is used by many health education professions to welcome new members to the profession and reemphasize the balance of scientific excellence with compassionate patient care.
For more pictures see: www.facebook.com/cudental.
(Photo: Dean Denise Kassebaum (left) following White Coat Ceremoney with student Leah Schulz)