GSDM Tradition Continues at Second Annual White Coat Ceremony
GSDM hosted the second annual Family Weekend, which culminated with the White Coat Ceremony on Saturday, July 7, for the DMD Class of 2014 and the AS Class of 2013. Students and their families enjoyed guided tours of the School during the day on Saturday and then gathered at the George Sherman Union at 775 Commonwealth Avenue for the Ceremony in the late afternoon. Nearly 700 people attended.
The White Coat Ceremony marks the midway point of the students’ education and celebrates their transition from the classroom to the treatment center. Students will now begin managing the comprehensive oral healthcare of their assigned patients and providing them with needed treatment in the fifth and sixth floor Patient Treatment Centers of the School of Dental Medicine.
The Ceremony Processional was led by the following Grand Marshalls: Associate Chair of the Department of General Dentistry, Director of Pre-doctoral Restorative Dentistry and Professor Dr. Celeste Kong; Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Daniel Moran; Director of Pre-doctoral Removable Prosthodontics and Clinical Professor Dr. Ronni Schnell and President of the GSDM Alumni Association and Chair of the GSDM Alumni Board, Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Tina Valades.
Assistant Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of General Dentistry Dr. Joseph Calabrese started off the ceremony.
Reflecting back on the day, Dr. Calabrese said, “Our students have reached a significant milestone in their dental education. Receiving their white coats in front of their families and friends in such a special ceremony was inspiring. This is a tradition that I, as well as our students, look forward to every year. I know how proud I was of our students so I can only imagine how their families must have felt.”
Dr. Calabrese then introduced Dean and Spencer N. Frankl Professor in Dental Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey W. Hutter. Dean Hutter welcomed the assembled students and their families.
He said, “It is certainly an honor to welcome the friends and families of the DMD Class of 2014 and the Advanced Standing Class of 2013. As they mark this important rite of passage, I cannot tell you how much it means to them and to me that so many of you are here with us today.” He continued, “Although they have had the opportunity of treating patients since they began their dental education, they are about to begin the very important phase of their education in which they manage their own assigned patients and provide comprehensive oral healthcare to them. In so doing, they hone their clinical skills in their chosen profession of dentistry. Their participation in this important ceremony marks the beginning of their transition into professionals.”
The keynote speaker for the Ceremony was Dr. Andrea Richman. Dr. Richman, a general practitioner, graduated from Tufts in 1978 and completed a General Practice Residency at Boston City Hospital in 1979. Richman has served as the Yankee Dental Congress General Chair and in various other YDC volunteer positions. She served as MDS president in 2007, becoming the first woman to serve in that position. She is also a liaison for the MDS to the Board of Registration in Dentistry and currently serves on the board of Eastern Dental Insurance Company.
During her keynote speech, Dr. Richman remarked, “Each of you has been awarded a coveted slot in this school because you have that capacity to transition from student to Doctor. This is what it is all about. This is what your next one to two years are about—not just changing coats, but changing your mindset; learning to accept responsibility for your decisions and learning to be a professional.”
Following Dr. Richman’s address, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Periodontology & Oral Biology, Dr. Cataldo Leone officially presented the class to Dean Hutter.
Dean Hutter then commenced the White Coat Ceremony during which as Dr. DuLong read their names, the students were presented with their white coats by faculty members Drs. Joseph Calabrese, John Guarente, and Cataldo Leone, and congratulated by Dr. Janet Peters and Dean Hutter before exiting the stage. The Ceremony closed with Dean Hutter leading the students in the reading of the Professional Oath, the same oath they took at the Professional Ceremony during their respective orientations in 2010 and 2011 He also shared some personal closing remarks to the newly White Coated students.
After the Ceremony, the students proceeded to the small ballroom for their respective DMD Class of 2014 and AS Class of 2013 photos with Dean Hutter. A lovely reception, including passed hor d’oeuvres and a pasta station, was held at the Ziskind Lounge for the students and their families. The festivities were funded in part by a generous donation from the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS). MDS regularly supports Massachusetts dental students by supporting student activities at GSDM.