Sunday, December 7, 2008
We, the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine inaugural class of 2012 have been officially "in-doctor-inated". By this I mean our class was welcomed into the profession of dentistry by the traditional "white coat ceremony". I never really understood the white coat, or at least what it is all about until Dr. G, our Midwestern University president, told a brief history of the significance in her introductory message at the beginning of the ceremony. It turns out that the science community were the sole possessors of the white coat until in the 19th century when the health profession wanted to meld both fields and bring more science into health promotion, prevention, and practice and leave quackery behind. Makes sense, I can't imagine it any other way. Since then the health community professionals have brandished the White Coat. Ironically, my first memory of the "white coat" was from the little white coat wearing, mustached Mexican man in my neighborhood meat market, "Gillmans". His white coat was mostly pink with shades of... well, blood. Meat market day was a day when I would hang out with my mom all day because I was not old enough to go to school. I would accompany my mom as she would run errands in the blue family station wagon and I would look at the buttons on the radio because I was too short to look out the window. Mom listened to a lot of Kenny Rogers in those days. Meat market day was always a fun day because I would inevitably receive a box of animal cookies presented by my mother as these cookies were within my eye's grasp by the cash register. But I digress....
I did have the chance to take my parents around the campus which was nice. I think they were impressed with the greatness of the school. I even pulled out my mannequin in the pre-clinic and showed them all of the toys we get to play with in the wet lab and in the clinic, such as the drills and dentiforms. Good times.
With the addition of my first white coat hanging up in my closet, the feeling that I have entered into a great profession, a fiduciary profession where much is expected, makes me proud. It makes me proud to be a part of something truly great. Camaraderie, friendship, hard work and a continuous education is the path that I am on and I look forward to what the rest of my career has in store. But for now, I need to focus on my cytoskeletal and epithelial exam that I have to face on Tuesday.
Here I am showing my mom what goes down in the sim clinic. Don't let the picture fool you, I look like I know a lot more than I really do!