A coat for a new season

Ceremony marks students’ transition to the next phase of their dental careers
February 8th, 2017

On Feb. 3, in front of an audience of more than 500 family, friends and faculty members, second-year students at Texas A&M College of Dentistry were welcomed to the next phase of dental education during the White Coat Ceremony at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.

Words of encouragement swelled, as did the cheers from the audience when students received their coats, one by one, from Alumni Association President Laurie Inglis ’02 and President-elect Dr. Joe Simmons ’98, ’99, clinical assistant professor in general dentistry.

Students recite "The Dentist's Pledge" in unison

“I understand and accept that my primary responsibility is to my patients, and I shall dedicate myself to render, to the best of my ability, the highest standard of oral health care and to maintain a relationship of respect and confidence. Therefore, let all come to me safe in the knowledge that their total health and well-being are my first consideration. …”— excerpt, “The Dentist’s Pledge”


Dr. Carrie Byington greets a dental student during the Texas A&M College of Dentistry White Coat Ceremony on Feb. 3

“I want to cultivate a spirit of interprofessionalism and bring our colleges together,” Dr. Carrie Byington, left, dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, senior vice president of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, told students. “You are ready to lead in this area.” She also commented on the changing health care landscape in dentistry and medicine alike. “It is exciting to enter this 21st century, a century that I believe is about the patient, not the clinician. What an opportunity to transform the health care of Texas.”


Dr. Carrie Byington and Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky pose for a photo with a student during the 2017 Texas A&M College of Dentistry White Coat Ceremony

“If you keep patient care your priority, the other aspects of dental practice will follow,” said Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, College of Dentistry dean, right. “Knowing that you placed your patient’s welfare above your personal gain will pay great dividends in professional and personal fulfillment.”

Texas A&M College of Dentistry Alumni Association President Laurie Inglis helps a student into her white coat.

“Wearing the coat exemplifies the responsibility the dentist accepts for providing thoughtful, compassionate and skilled health care,” Inglis, center, said. … “As you don your white coat, you are accepting the mantel worn with pride by professionals and regarded with the utmost respect by the patients who place their health and well-being in your hands.”


— Jennifer Fuentes