White Coat Ceremony Celebrates Students’ Milestone Transition to Patient Care

July 23, 2019

White coat program held up with seats and white coats in the background


A group of people at the White Coat Ceremony


The White Coat Ceremony


A family poses in front of the Palace of Fine Arts


Students in their white coats


The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry celebrated its 21st annual White Coat Ceremony on Saturday, July 20, to mark the beginning of clinical experience for students in the DDS Class of 2021, IDS Class of 2021 and Dental Hygiene Class of 2020.

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 uphold professional integrity. After many months of practice and instruction with manikins in the school's Simulation Clinic, these students will now transition to caring for patients. The school's San Francisco clinics serve approximately 28,000 patients each year.

Dr. Nader Nadershahi ‘94, dean, welcomed an audience of nearly 1,000 guests who attended the ceremony. Dr. Bruce Peltier, professor emeritus, gave "A Word or Two Before We Go," Dr. Richard Nagy, president-elect of the California Dental Association gave "Greetings from Organized Dentistry — Your SAG Teams," and Dr. David Ehsan ‘95, president of the Alumni Association presented students with a commemorative pin from the association after each student received their coat.

Following the presentation of coats, Dr. Des Gallagher, Interim Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and Interim Chair of the Department of Clinical Oral Healthcare, 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.

"Our field enjoys a strong reputation as a trusted profession," said Dean Nadershahi. "That is because of the integrity shown by those that have come before us. It is now your responsibility to carry the torch of the profession. The future of oral healthcare is in your hands with the integrity, ethics, courage, and commitment to excellence by which you live your life."

Dean Nadershahi also shared details about the history of the White Coat Ceremony and the Dugoni School's unique leadership in the creation of this milestone event in dental education. The Dugoni School was the first dental school in the nation to hold a White Coat Ceremony, with the first event taking place in the mid-1990s.

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.


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Categories: Administration, Events, Featured, Students, 2019