A Warm Welcome and White Coats for the Class of 2023

August 12, 2019
DMD student gets White Coat

Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) welcomed 35 new DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) students to campus in early August. The Class of 2023 hails from 19 different states and from 29 different colleges/universities. The class composition is 71 percent female and 29 percent male. Fourteen percent come from populations underrepresented in medicine.

Orientation began the morning of August 5, with the DMD students joining their Harvard Medical School (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.

HMS Quad“You have all imagined your futures. That is why you are here today,” said HSDM Dean Bruce Donoff. “It has been said that the clinician needs to know everything that is known, and the scientist seeks to learn all that is unknown. Addressing pressing human needs relating to life, health and relief of suffering requires a blend. Louis Pasteur said, ‘chance favors the prepared mind’ and preparing yours for many futures is about to begin. I look forward to following your growth and achievements with great pride,” he said.

Students learned about the history of the community they are entering—one focused on collaboration and compassion. They were introduced to their academic societies where they met their classmates and faculty mentors who they will rely on throughout their educational journey.

During the remainder of Orientation week, the DMD and MD students attended their first patient clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where they heard directly from patients about their personal battles with illness. They also had the opportunity to tour community health centers in Boston’s underserved communities and learn firsthand about the social determinants of health.

Class of 2023 on front stepsThe week culminated with a White Coat Ceremony held on Friday, August 9 on the HMS Quad. Proud family and friends watched each student cross the stage to introduce themselves wearing their new white coats. Many students shared words of gratitude, recognizing the support of their loved ones who helped them get into dental or medical school.

“I want to remind you it’s just the beginning. There’s lots of hard work ahead,” said HMS Dean George Daley, addressing the sea of students in white. “Use your extraordinary talents to serve others. That’s why we’re here. Do not forget that with every encounter...you have the opportunity to make the world a healthier and happier place, one patient at a time.”

See also: Students