White Coat Ceremonies Welcome UConn Medical and Dental Students

  • UConn School of Dental Medicine students recite the Dentist's Pledge during the 2015 White Coat Ceremony, August 14, 2015.

The Classes of 2019 from the UConn School of Medicine and UConn School of Dental Medicine have received their student white coats, the symbolic start to their academic careers at UConn Health.

Dr. MacNeil
Dr. MacNeil, dean of the UConn School of Dental Medicine, addresses the incoming dental class at the 2015 White Coat Ceremony. (Blagoje Filipovic/UConn Health Photo)

Joined by family members Friday, 98 medical and 42 dental students took part in the traditional White Coat Ceremonies that are the culmination of student orientation for the new classes.

“The white coat has become health care’s symbol of compassionate and scientific patient care,” says Dr. Michael Goupil, associate dean for students at the UConn School of Dental Medicine. “The White Coat Ceremony represents the faith and trust the faculty has for the entering students to carry out their responsibilities for the welfare of their patients.”

The students represent the 47th entering classes for both schools.

“I’m really excited about today,” says medical student Pooja Patel. “Everyone I’ve met is incredibly nice and helpful. I’m just excited to start classes and get to know everyone better.”

Pooja Patel
Incoming medical student, Pooja Patel, signs the UConn Medical School Honor Code after receiving her white coat on Friday, August 14, at the 2015 White Coat Ceremony. (Kristin Wallace/UConn Health Photo)

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which supports efforts to foster humanism in medicine, provides support for the UConn School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony.

“I feel honored, because I’m a first-generation college student,” says dental student Richard Jimenez. “This represents, so far, one of my greatest accomplishments. Ten years ago I would never have seen myself here today.”

Jimenez comes from the Pacific Northwest and had never been to the Northeast before coming to UConn to study dental medicine.

As is tradition, after receiving their white coats, the new dental students recited the Dentist’s Pledge, and the medical students recited the Hippocratic Oath.

Class of 2019 Dental School Profile

  • 42 students (55% women)
  • Average age: 24
  • 55% Connecticut residents, 21% other New England residents
  • 25 undergraduate school programs represented – 21% UConn, 7% other Connecticut schools
  • 17% are underrepresented minorities
  • 71% majored in science as undergraduates

Class of 2019 Medical School Profile

  • 98 students – includes seven M.D./Ph.D. candidates (56% women)
  • Average age: 23
  • 87% Connecticut residents
  • 45 undergraduate school programs represented – 35% UConn; 9% other Connecticut schools
  • 18% are underrepresented minorities
  • 88% majored in science and/or health-related topics as undergraduates