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Health Center Today, August 22, 2011

White Coat Ceremonies Held for Medical and Dental School Classes of 2015

By Carolyn Pennington

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Photos by Jennifer Beardsley

The newest classes of medical and dental students celebrated the traditional White Coat Ceremony Friday.

The annual event is a symbolic induction into the profession of medicine and dental medicine and has been held at UConn since 1995.

“The ceremony is a wonderful and meaningful tradition in which the school welcomes first-year students by presenting them with a white coat, the symbol of clinical service and care,” says Dr. Bruce Liang, interim dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

The 89 first-year medical students were welcomed by Liang along with Dr. David Henderson, associate dean of medical student affairs; Dr. Suzanne Rose, senior associate dean for education; and Dr. Richard Zeff, assistant dean of medical school admissions.

As a brief introduction of their background and interests was being read, students donned white coats for the first time with the help of second-year medical students in front of their family, friends, and colleagues. The program concluded with the recital of the Oath of Hippocrates.

During the dental school ceremony, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, Dr. R. Lamont (Monty) MacNeil, welcomed the 45 member class of 2015 and urged them to work hard, work together and remember the duties and responsibilities to their patients.

Dr. Donna Balaski, Connecticut Department of Social Services, was the featured speaker and Dr. Steven Lepowsky, associate dean for education and patient care, led the students in a recital of The Dentist’s Pledge.

2015 Dental School Class Profile

45 students – 55 percent women
Average age – 24
51 percent Connecticut residents; 33 percent other New England residents
25 undergraduate school programs represented – 20 percent UConn; 33 percent other Connecticut schools
20 percent are underrepresented minorities
85 percent majored in science as undergraduates

2015 Medical School Class Profile

89 students (includes four M.D./Ph.D. candidates) – 48 percent women
Average age – 25
80 percent Connecticut residents; 6 percent other New England residents
46 undergraduate school programs represented – 26 percent UConn; 9 percent other Connecticut schools
13 percent are underrepresented minorities
74 percent majored in science and/or health-related topics as undergraduates