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Students celebrate receiving white coats

September 24, 2019

By Jennifer Garvin

UMSOD White Coat Ceremony Celebration: Dr. Mark A. Reynolds, dean, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, congratulates the school's dental and dental hygiene students on receiving their white clinic coats.
Photo courtesy of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Baltimore — The Class of 2021 celebrated its official transition from classroom to clinic on Sept. 16 when the third-year dental students received their white clinic coats during the University of Maryland School of Dentistry’s White Coat Ceremony. 

“The opportunity to provide health care is a privilege, rather than a right,” said Dr. Mark A. Reynolds, dean of the school. “As such, we have been entrusted by society to hold ourselves to the highest ethical and moral standards. Over the past few months your patients, faculty, and colleagues have seen you exhibit these professional ideals. Faculty and members of our professional community are here to bear witness on this special occasion.”

LaShonda and Dan
New coats: LaShonda and Dan pose in
their new white clinic coats.

During the ceremony, the dental students were presented and “coated” by UMSOD faculty and alumni. Members of the dental hygiene class of 2020 also received their white coats.

“You don’t know how you’ll change your patients’ lives or how they’ll change yours,” said Dr. Nina Santos, a 2015 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, who shared a story about Miss Esther — her very first patient who remains under her care today.

After donning their coats, the students stood and recited the school’s professional oath before continuing the celebration with family and friends. Ben Horn, Dan Yang and LaShonda Shepherd — the three students profiled in the ADA News Becoming a Dentist series, were among the 2021 class who received their coats. Follow the series at