Annual White Coat Ceremony Celebrates Milestone for Dental Students

July 20, 2016

White Coat Ceremony

Students reciting the oath during the White Coat Ceremony.

White Coat Ceremony


University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry held its annual White Coat Ceremony on Saturday, July 16, to celebrate the beginning of clinical experience for students in the DDS Class of 2018, IDS Class of 2018 and Dental Hygiene Class of 2017. Held at the historic Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco, the annual ceremony was an opportunity for students to formally celebrate an important milestone and pledge to practice professional integrity. After months of practice and instruction with manikins in the simulation laboratory, these students will now start to transition to working with patients.

Dr. Nader Nadershahi '94, dean, welcomed an audience of nearly 1,000 guests to the ceremony. Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni ‘48, dean emeritus; Dr. Bruce Peltier, professor of psychology and ethics; and Dr. Ken Wallis, president of the California Dental Association, explained the symbolism of the white coat and spoke on the responsibility of being a dental professional. Kimberly LaRocca ‘06, president of the Alumni Association, presented each student with a commemorative pin from the association, which also donated funds used to purchase the white coats.

Following the presentation of coats by the group practice leaders, Dr. Sigmund Abelson ‘66, associate dean for clinical services, led students in the recitation of the professional oath. Students pledged to practice professional integrity, commitment to the community, respect for the people they serve and all other responsibilities of the dental profession.

The history of the White Coat Ceremony at the Dugoni School goes back to the mid-1990s, when the school became the first dental school in the United States to organize a White Coat Ceremony to celebrate this important milestone for dental students.

University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry Professional Oath

In light of all I hold sacred, in the presence of my family, friends, and teachers, I pledge to fulfill my obligations as a member of the dental profession.

My responsibility is to promote the health of the community and the persons I serve. The health of my patients will be my first commitment.

My privileges depend upon the trust of my patients. I will not violate that trust. I will respect all that is confided in me. I will do no harm.

I will honor my patients' dignity. I will be their zealous advocate, guided by their will, sensitive to their feelings, needs, and thoughts.

I respect and cherish the lives of all persons. I will not discriminate against any person in my decisions and care.

I recognize the limits of my competence. I will seek the knowledge and inspiration of my colleagues whenever my patients' needs require. I will strive to improve the knowledge and skills I profess to have.

I am responsible for contributing to an improved community. I will strive to prevent disease and to correct adverse social conditions. I will serve as both a teacher and a role model for my patients, my successors, and the public.

I am responsible for upholding my profession's integrity. I will strive to counsel those deficient in character or competence and expose those who engage in fraud or deception. I will not use my medical knowledge in any way contrary to the laws of humanity.

With this oath, I willingly assume these responsibilities.

If I honor this oath, may I be granted fulfillment and joy in my practice of the art of dentistry, respected while I live, and remembered with affection thereafter.

View event photos at the online photo gallery.


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Categories: Academic Programs, Events, Students, 2016