Thirty-six new DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) students arrived on campus in early August eager to begin their dental careers at Harvard. The enrollees hail from 16 states and join HSDM from more than 27 different colleges and universities. They were selected from a group of over 1,000 prospective students, representing just under 5% of the applicant pool.
The morning of August 6, the DMD students joined their HMS classmates for welcome remarks by the deans of the respective schools. The dental and medical students will spend the first year of their education together in the Pathways curriculum.
“You as physicians and dentists must earn and sustain your patients’ and society’s trust. In this age of information glut, your education for lifelong learning and helping people begins today,” he told the new students. “I look forward to following your growth and achievements with great pride.”
The week’s orientation activities included introductions within the Harvard community and beyond. Students were introduced to their academic societies, where they got to know the classmates and faculty they will rely on throughout their educational journey. They also stepped outside of Longwood to tour community health centers in Boston’s underserved communities, from Chelsea to Roxbury. Meeting with local community leaders, they learned firsthand about the about the social determinants of health. They also attended their first patient clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where they heard directly from patients about their personal battles with illness.
The week concluded with the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 10, held on the Quad. Students donned their white coats and stepped onstage one by one to introduce themselves. Many expressed gratitude to their family, friends and mentors who helped get them to this point in their careers.
“Today is the culmination of many, many years of hard work…it is the beginning of your evolution both personal and professional from being a student to becoming a doctor,” HMS Dean George Q. Daley said.
“You have the opportunity to realize your dreams for what you will do and for who you will become. You will have an opportunity to use your extraordinary talents to serve others and to make the world a better place,” he said.
The ceremony concluded with the Class of 2022 taking an oath they composed themselves. They expressed gratitude, and pledged to use empathy, and respect as future caregivers.
Watch a video of the White Coat Ceremony