Welcome to the Profession

Some of the 100 dental students are shown with their white coats before the first coat initiation ceremony.
Some of the 100 dental students are shown with their white coats before the first coat initiation ceremony.

Dental hygiene students recite the Dental Hygiene Oath during Welcome to the Profession.

White coat tradition begins

At the 19th Annual Welcome to the Profession ceremony in August, the School of Dentistry at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio honored the entering Dental Class of 2020 and the Dental Hygiene Class of 2018.

For the first time, the annual event for new students featured a white coat initiation ceremony. In groups of five, the 100 dental students were recognized on stage by name and hometown, and faculty members helped them to put on their white coats for the first time. The 31 dental hygiene students were presented with a set of scrubs to mark their transition into the undergraduate program.

The students’ family and friends joined members of the School of Dentistry alumni, area dental practitioners and faculty members at the standing-room-only ceremony in the Holly Auditorium.

Dental hygiene students received their scrubs and dental-themed items at Welcome to the Profession.

Inspirational speeches were given by William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, university president; William W. Dodge, D.D.S., dean of the dental school; Amjad Sheikh, D.D.S., Class of 2002, president of the Dental Alumni Association; Joshua Austin, D.D.S., Class of 2006, president of the San Antonio District Dental Society; Jesus Espino, D.D.S., Class of 2006, president elect of the Greater San Antonio Hispanic Dental Association; Kay Malone, D.D.S., member of the National Dental Association and clinical professor of comprehensive dentistry; Jodie Hostetter, B.S.D.H., RDH, Class of 2010 and immediate past president of the San Antonio District Dental Hygienists’ Society; and Maria Lopez Howell, D.D.S., Class of 1983, chair of the Texas Section of the American College of Dentists.

 

After the dental hygiene students had been presented their scrubs, Jo Ann Diaz Jordan, M.A., B.S.D.H., Class of 2001, RDH, dental hygiene program director, led them in reciting the Dental Hygiene Oath with dental hygienists in the audience also standing and joining in the recitation. Birgit Junfin Glass, D.D.S., M.S., Class of 1975, associate dean for academic affairs, led the dental students and all dentists in the auditorium in reciting the Dentist’s Pledge.

The 19th Annual Welcome to the Profession in August featured the introduction of a new tradition — a white coat ceremony for dental students.

Adriana Segura, D.D.S., M.S., associate dean of student affairs, said the ceremony marks the students’ transition from their previous undergraduate program to the School of Dentistry.

“It also allows family members and friends to celebrate with them the culmination of many years of hard work. These are both very competitive programs and admittance is not easy. They were accepted

because of their previous academic success, leadership abilities and service to their community,” she said.
Dr. Segura said the ceremony offers family members the opportunity to see where the students will spend much of the next two or four years. “We are here to be their students’ extended
family. We are here to support them. We want them all to succeed,” she added.
The Welcome to the Profession ceremony was supported by the Texas Section of the American College of Dentists and the Dental Alumni Association.


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In the 2016 issue of Salute

Salute is the official magazine for the alumni and friends of the School of Dentistry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Read and share inspiring stories highlighting our dental alumni, faculty and students who are revolutionizing education, research, patient care and critical services in the communities they serve.

View the 2016 issue

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