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University of Iowa News Release


May 7, 2008

UI College of Dentistry hosting White Coat Ceremony May 8

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry will hold its White Coat Ceremony for first-year students at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 8, in the Galagan Auditorium at the UI Dental Sciences Building.

The White Coat Ceremony at the UI College of Dentistry honors first-year dental students as they earn clinical privileges to see patients in the dental clinics. Eighty students will participate in this year's event.

David Johnson, D.D.S., dean of the UI College of Dentistry, will offer remarks. Jim Harris, D.D.S., a 1979 dental graduate and president of the Iowa section of the American College of Dentistry, and Keith Krell, D.D.S., a 1981 dental graduate and president of the Iowa section of the International College of Dentists, also will speak to the students. Peter Damiano, D.D.S., a 1986 graduate of the college and director of the UI Public Policy Center, will give the keynote address.

Following Damiano's speech, the dental students will be ceremonially cloaked with their first white laboratory coats. Then, in the presence of family, friends and faculty, the students will recite the Oath of a Dentist.

UI dental students have their first clinical experiences in January of their first year, practicing on classmates in the Preventive Dentistry Clinic.

"After six months of practice, the students are ready for more challenging experiences," said Marsha Cunningham, associate professor of preventive and community dentistry and course director.

The UI College of Dentistry is one of about a dozen dental schools in the United States where students see patients during their first year of study. In most other U.S. dental schools, students do not begin seeing patients until the third year.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5125 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan L. Green, 319-335-9465,