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Sunday April 20, 2014

Rutgers Dental Students Welcomed with White Coats

Thursday August 29, 2013

Rutgers Dental Students Welcomed with White Coats

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Rutgers School of Dental Medicine’s 91-member inaugural class takes its pledge

Photo:Nick Romanenko
The ceremony emphasizes that the white coat is a symbol of trust, knowledge, respect and tradition.
The 91 members of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine’s inaugural class – the Class of 2017 – were welcomed into dentistry and pledged to uphold the integrity of the profession at the 2013 White Coat Ceremony.

Joining them were 25 students from the school's Internationally Trained Dentist program, who are members of the Class of 2015. (This program is for qualified dentists educated outside of the United States or Canada, who become part of the third-year class after completing a rigorous three-month program.) The event took place  August 28 at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in Newark.

By donning these jackets, students demonstrate their commitment to uphold the profession's values and ethics, and they promise to show compassion to every patient.

In her remarks, Dean Cecile Feldman told the students that most people look at a white coat with awe. “The white coat embodies all that is good in humanity,” she said. “But with it comes a responsibility to always act with integrity. It is not only important that you know what is right, it is important that your actions reflect what is right.”

The two keynote speakers who followed were: Anthony Volpe, a graduate of the school’s inaugural class, the Class of 1960; and Ivan Georgiev, a graduate of the last UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School class, the Class of 2013. Each also received a Rutgers School of Dental Medicine white coat at the conclusion of his talk.

Photo: Nick Romanenko
Dean Cecile Feldman congratulates incoming student Halie Aronson, left, while and keynote speaker Anthony Volpe fastens an RSDM pin on another student.
After being cloaked by the presidents of each of the dental school's current classes, the students signed the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. The ceremony ended with the recitation of the dental oath, led by Robert Giantomas, president of the New Jersey Dental Association.

The first White Coat Ceremony took place at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1993. Since then it has become a tradition at medical and dental schools around the world. The School of Dental Medicine held its first ceremony in 2005. It was one of the first dental schools in the country to do so.

– Merry Sue Baum

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