ALTON - Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine first year students and the inaugural class of the International Advanced Placement Program (IAPP) received the traditional coat of medical professionals, during the School’s 16th annual White Coat Ceremony held Friday, Sept. 30.
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The first year cohort of 52 students, and six IAPP students, took the professional oath, and committed to uphold the School’s values of service, respect, integrity, compassion and competence.
“The White Coat Ceremony is an important step in the journey of the dental student as it signifies the formal entrance into the profession,” said Bruce Rotter, DMD, dean of the SIU School of Dental Medicine. “Moreover, it affirms the students’ knowledge and willingness to practice by the dental professional oath. The oath is the dentist’s guide to safe, ethical and compassionate patient care.”
Ken Rawson, DMD, interim associate dean for academic affairs led the ceremony for the class of 2020. He introduced and celebrated multiple faculty, who will play an integral role in the professional preparedness and development of the two cohorts.
“Our students’ past performance demonstrates that our faculty are among the best in the nation in both biomedical and clinical sciences,” Rawson said. “Each year, the dedication of our faculty helps to produce some of the finest dental practitioners in the nation, and I anticipate that this class will also excel in their chosen profession.”
The event’s keynote speaker was Susan Bordenave-Bishop, DMD, president of the Illinois State Dental Society Foundation’s Board of Directors. Bordenave-Bishop also serves as Regent of the International College of Dentists, District 8.
The SIU School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its patient clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These opportunities provide students the training they need to graduate and become highly skilled dentists. The School of Dental Medicine is a vital oral health care provider for residents of southern and central Illinois, and the St. Louis metropolitan region.