It’s a rite of passage for first-year medical and dental students, symbolic of their joining the professions for which they will spend the next four years training.
The students making up the Classes of 2016 were welcomed into the UConn School of Medicine and the UConn School of Dental Medicine at the schools’ traditional White Coat Ceremonies, where 40 dental and 90 medical students received their white coats and recited either the Dentist’s Pledge or the Hippocratic Oath.
It was Dr. Frank Torti’s first White Coat Ceremony as dean of the UConn School of Medicine. In his remarks to the students, he spoke of the transformation Bioscience Connecticut will bring to the Health Center, and to the future of medicine.
“The good part is going to be the extraordinary environment that we will create to make this place the place that is actually is going to push the envelope in terms of care and cure of patients,” Torti said. “What we are aiming to achieve is not new buildings, but it is the innovation, the extraordinary bringing together of the brightest people, and actually change the face of medicine.”
The medical students’ white coats were adorned with a gold lapel pin from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a symbol of humanism in medicine.
Dr. Monty MacNeil, dean of the UConn School of Dental Medicine, told his first-year students, the White Coat Ceremony has little to do with the garment itself.
“What it has to do with is what’s inside the white coat: you, your development as a health professional, and how the white coat fits you in those things other than the physical—professionalism, ethics, caring, compassion,” MacNeil said. “And you know what? I’ve got a lot of confidence those coats will fit very, very well.”