What does it imply to earn your white coat? 2022 dental pupil recipients share their tales.

The White Coat Ceremony is a revered custom for dental, medical and different healthcare college students that signifies the transition from preclinical research to scientific care. On the College of Colorado College of Dental Medication (CU SDM), college students earn their white coats on the finish of their second yr of the Physician of Dental Surgical procedure (DDS) program or their first yr of the Superior Standing Worldwide Pupil Program (ISP) .

So, what does it imply to earn your white coat? After all, it’s a essential step in turning into a well being skilled. It means you could have accomplished the required studying to start caring for precise sufferers. It additionally comes with studying the dental oath; college students pledge themselves “to the service of humanity, my sufferers, my neighborhood, and my occupation.”

Along with the historic {and professional} significance of the white coat, every pupil who walks throughout that stage has a narrative that brings a singular and private significance to this milestone.

Shawg Ahmed

Shawg Ahmed (DDS ’24) is a first-generation pupil who grew up in a single-parent family. She was born in Sudan, grew up in Denver, Colorado, and studied Integrative Physiology at CU Boulder. She says “incomes my white coat isn’t just a celebration for me, however it’s extra of a celebration of my household’s arduous work.”

As an individual with kind 1 diabetes, Ahmed noticed how diabetes poorly affected her enamel. “I knew dentistry was for me as a result of I can personally empathize with sufferers who wrestle with their oral well being as a consequence of general systemic well being points.”

Earlier than dental college, she participated within the Undergraduate Pre-Well being Program (UPP), which helped her be taught to problem herself academically. “UPP has ready me to be well-rounded in understanding healthcare disparities and having the ability to tie dental care must the inhabitants I’m serving.”


Fernando Deon (ISP ’23) was a practising oral and maxillofacial surgeon in his house nation of Brazil for a number of years earlier than pursuing a profession within the US. He comes from a household of dentists: his father is a common dentist; his sister is a periodontist, and his brother is an orthodontist. “My father has been my largest inspiration. Seeing him observe has made me understand how necessary dentistry is for individuals’s lives.”

Deon is a part of the Superior Standing Worldwide Pupil Program, a two-year accelerated DDS program supplied to dentists who earned a bachelor’s diploma in dentistry exterior the US. He says he selected to check at CU SDM as a result of the college “is understood for innovation and complete dental training, making ready professionals to be essential thinkers and lifelong learners.”

In his first yr of research, Deon realized that “dentistry is made within the particulars, the place data have to be evidence-based, and expertise come from unceasing coaching.”

Hey says “incomes my white coat marks the start of affected person care, the place I’ll have the chance to develop scientific expertise to observe dentistry with the very best requirements of care as taught by CU College of Dental Medication.”

Rachel Bryant RawlingsRachel Bryant-Rawlings (DDS ’24) grew up in Monument, Colorado, and selected to check dental drugs at CU SDM in order that she might be near household. “They’ve been the best help system,” she says. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in allied well being from Azusa Pacific College in California, Bryant-Rawlings labored as a dental assistant at a pediatric workplace in Colorado Springs. She was impressed by the dentists on the observe.

Whereas she doesn’t but know what she want to do after commencement, she has realized quite a bit in her first two years of dental college concerning the occupation, work-life steadiness, setting priorities, and bounds.

“I’ve a 10-month-old son, and I’ve realized that being a pupil is a brief title. It’s a steppingstone to a profession that may assist me present for my household.”

On incomes her white coat, Bryant-Rawlings says, “it symbolizes turning into greater than a pupil and getting into healthcare as an expert. It’s a signal of honor for our arduous work in addition to the brand new duties we may have as suppliers.”

Arane Akeeh

Arane Akeeh (DDS ’24) would be the first in her household of refugees to acquire a doctoral diploma. She was born close to Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating with a bachelor’s diploma in organic science from Arizona State College, she determined to pursue a profession in dentistry.

“Dentistry excited me as a result of it’s a well being profession that might additionally assist enhance individuals’s confidence,” she says. “A wholesome smile is necessary for common well being and well-being.”

When requested what incomes a white coat means to her, Akeeh stated “It represents how far I’ve come from my humble beginnings. It represents how I might make my household and my neighborhood pleased with me.”

Upon commencement – simply two years from now – Akeeh plans to work for the refugee inhabitants. “I need to assist serve the identical neighborhood that I used to be raised in. I need to assist individuals with the same background to attain their targets.”

Cameron Birch

Cameron Birch (DDS ’24) says dentistry is an ideal occupation for him: “It’s a mixture of physics, engineering, creativity, and artwork, that are a few of my best pursuits and passions. With the ability to present wholesome, stunning smiles whereas interacting with sufferers on a recurring foundation solely provides to what makes dentistry such an unbelievable occupation.”

Having grown up in Gilbert, Arizona, and attending the College of Arizona for undergraduate, transferring to Colorado for dental college was definitely one thing new. He says it was the incorporation of expertise into the dental curriculum that set CU SDM aside. The dedication to rural healthcare by the Superior Scientific Coaching Service (ACTS) Program and utilizing an interprofessional healthcare mannequin to deal with sufferers have been additionally engaging qualities for CU.

Now that he’s getting into “the true world of scientific care,” Birch says that incomes his white coat “is a testomony to all of the extremely difficult work that my classmates and myself have endured to get up to now. All of our diligence, emotion, stress and achievement has led to this ceremonious event that we will all have a good time.”

This yr’s White Coat Ceremony will happen on Friday, Could 20, 2022, at Boettcher Commons on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus with remarks from Dean Kassebaum, Dr. Johnson and others. College students will settle for their white coats from Dr. Mediavilla, Affiliate Dean of Pupil Affairs and Admissions, and Dr. Baskaran, Director of the Superior Standing Worldwide Pupil Program. For extra particulars and full lists of 2022 white coat recipients, view the occasion web page.

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