School holds White Coat Ceremony for Class of 2017

2014 SoDM White Coat Ceremony

Fifty two dental students in the Class of 2017 were recognized at a White Coat Ceremony on November 7. Among the students are (pictured left to right) Janay Braxton, Kurtis Bryan, Terrence Campbell, Jamie Carter, Daria Clegg, and Gustavo Delgado.

The ECU School of Dental Medicine held a White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2017 on Friday, November 7, 2014. This was the school’s third White Coat Ceremony held annually for second-year students who are transitioning from the pre-clinical phase of their education to the patient care phase.

The 52 students, 26 male and 26 female, in Class of 2017 celebrated the evening with a formal ceremony at the Brody Medical Sciences Building Auditorium. The students walked across the stage individually and were assisted by dental faculty members in putting on the symbolic white lab coats. The Class of 2017 selected Dr. Paul Lindauer, clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Janet Hood, clinical associate professor, for the honor of presenting the coats.

Dr. Margaret B. Wilson, vice dean and associate dean for Student Affairs, addressed the students, saying, “This is a very important step in your professional lives because today is the day that you formally accept your responsibilities to your patients, to your community and to society.”

Dr. Greg Chadwick, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, told the students, “From this point on, you will be held to a higher standard—that of a caregiver and member of the dental profession. The white coat symbolizes a commitment to maintain the highest ethical standard.”

Mr. Lamont Lowery, director of Admissions, thanked outgoing members of the School of Dental Medicine’s Admissions Committee for their dedicated service to the school for the past four years. Outgoing committee members include Dr. Abdel Abdel-Rahman, professor at the Brody School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Dr. Jay Collie, private dental practitioner in Greenville; Dr. Rob Doherty, dental director at the James D. Bernstein Community Health Center in Greenville, Dr. Roytesa Savage, associate professor at the Brody School of Medicine; and Dr. Amy Batten, private dental practitioner in Goldsboro, N.C.

Also addressing the Class of 2017 were representatives of four professional organizations, including Dr. Scott Davenport of the North Carolina Dental Society; Dr. Rosyln Crisp of the Old North State Dental Society; Dr. Ron Venezie of the American College of Dentists; and Dr. Ted Roberson of the International College of Dentists.

The Class of 2017 recited a pledge that is each student’s lifelong call to action for the betterment patients and for the profession. The class pledged to place humility before pride, honor before wealth, and patients’ needs above all else.

Ernest Garner, Class of 2017, said, “The pledge aligns with my personal and professional mission, as it outlines my commitment to being ethical, selfless, and professional—all the qualities that I will have in my practice one day.”

Kristen Fischer, another DMD candidate 2017, said, “The greatest and most memorable part of the White Coat Ceremony was walking onto the stage and accepting the responsibility of patient care. Before coming up on stage to receive our coats, several speakers spoke to the class about the importance and symbolism of this piece of professional attire. Two of our most well-respected and influential faculty members then helped us into our coats while other faculty members, family, friends, and loved ones watched in the audience. Those moments are some that I will never forget.”

During their first eighteen months of dental school, the students have focused on anatomy, body systems and how human systems apply to dental health. They worked with dental models, known as simulators, to learn fillings, crowns, and other hand skills.

The students will begin seeing patients in January 2015 under faculty supervision in the Comprehensive Care Clinic in Ledyard E. Ross Hall on the ECU Health Sciences Campus. They will begin with patient examinations, diagnoses and simple operative procedures before moving on to more complicated procedures during their third year.

During their fourth year, the students will complete rotations in community service learning centers established by the school in the underserved rural communities of Ahoskie, Elizabeth City, Lillington, Sylva, Robeson County, Davidson County, Spruce Pine, and Brunswick County. At these centers, the students will join faculty dentists, residents, dental hygienists and dental assistants in treating patients, many of whom have not had access to dental care.

Like East Carolina’s medical school, the dental school’s emphasis is on educating primary-care practitioners who will practice in rural and underserved areas of North Carolina. All students at the School of Dental Medicine are North Carolina Residents.