Students wear white coats with pride

Ceremony symbolizes the spirit of professionalism and responsibility

05 October 2020

This year’s White Coat Ceremony was a little different as are many events these days, but not having one, was not an option. In its 19th year, the White Coat Ceremony was delivered via Zoom. Prior to the ceremony, the four Comprehensive Care student teams from the DDS 2022 class gathered at separate times to have their white coat presented to them by their instructors. This was videotaped and presented at the September 25 virtual event.

"The ceremony went really well even if we could not be in person to celebrate," said Dr. Steve Patterson, Associate Chair, Academic. "And because there were no restrictions on size due to space we were able to have over 140 guests, family and friends join us online."

No matter how the ceremony was delivered, the meaning behind it was what really mattered, and that is to recognize the point in the student’s program when they start participating in patient care as a significant part of their education.

Dr. Les Campbell, Associate Clinical Professor and Division Head Endodontics, charged the students to consider what quality of care means when you are a healthcare professional.

"The values and expectations of providing ethical and professional care become even more important when the quality of life of another human being lies within your care and judgement," said Campbell in his speech to students.

Ms. Carolyn Berendt and Mr. Arjun Lotey, students from the Class of 2022, wholeheartedly accepted this charge in their response on behalf of their class.

Berendt said, "I’ve been looking forward to starting clinic since the first day of dental school, although It seemed so far away at the time. We had so many things to learn but the more hands-on it got, the more I loved it! Now that I have two years of knowledge and practice I feel ready and excited to start caring for my patients!"

“When we were doing the actual donning of the coats, it was interesting to watch the students,” said Patterson. “It wasn’t just about us putting their coat on them, or filming a video, but they really acknowledged and embraced the spirit of professionalism and responsibility symbolized by the ceremony. It was exciting to see their enthusiasm for this next stage of their professional development.”

Congratulations and well done, class of 2022!

Watch the full ceremony here. Watch only the donning of the white coats here.