White Coat Ceremony Celebrates Students’ Transition to Patient Care

students at White Coat Ceremony

Students at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry celebrated a major milestone in their programs during the recent White Coat Ceremony, which formally marked the beginning of their work caring for patients in the school’s dental clinics.   

Members of the DDS and IDS Class of 2024 and Dental Hygiene Class of 2023 pledged to practice professional integrity, respect the people in their care, and fulfill other important responsibilities as a healthcare provider during the event held July 23 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

The event is a long-standing tradition at the Dugoni School, which was the first dental school in the United States to hold a White Coat Ceremony back in the mid-1990s. 

Dr. Nader Nadershahi ‘94, dean, welcomed the nearly 1,000 attendees, including numerous families, friends and leaders in the oral health field. 

“I know that you certainly will touch many lives and improve the health of your patients,” he said. “It is now your responsibility to carry the torch of the profession. You hold the future of dentistry in your hands with the integrity and ethics by which you live your life. The future of our great profession shines brighter than ever because of what you will do in your careers.”

Other guest speakers were Dr. Ariane Terlet ’86, president of the California Dental Association; Ms. Kathy Kane ’04, BSDH, RDHAP, president of the California Dental Hygienists’ Association; and Mr. Nick Forooghi, JD, an attorney who teaches ethics at the Dugoni School as an assistant professor.

“Our charge as dentists is to lead by example everyday of our professional lives,” said Dr. Terlet.  “Always do the right thing even though when one is looking. Being successful in practice is easy if you always make treatment decisions that are in the best interest of your patients. The doctor-patient relationship is key to a successful and thriving practice, and loyalty to patients and your staff brings lifelong rewards.”

The white coats and pins presented during the ceremony were donated by the school’s Alumni Association and Office of Development, represented on stage by Alumni Association President Jamie Sahouria ’04 and Dugoni School Foundation President Dr. Janet Andrews ’83. Dr. Sahouria personally presented each student with a pin as they crossed the stage.

Following the presentation of coats, Dr. Des Gallagher, Associate Dean of Clinical Services and Chair of the Department of Clinical Oral Healthcare, led students in the recitation of the professional oath. 

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.

White Coat Ceremony Photo Gallery

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White Coat Ceremony Video