(Courtesy of Touro College) Today, 105 students of the inaugural class of Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM) at New York Medical College received their white coats and pledged to focus on service to the community in keeping with the mission of the school. This summer, these students will begin caring for patients at Touro Dental Health, a state-of-the-art, 32,000-square-foot dental health facility. Under the supervision of expert faculty, TCDM students will provide reduced-cost dental care to members of the Westchester community and surrounding counties. The practice is designed to handle hundreds of patients daily, providing advanced oral health care in every dental discipline.
The white coat ceremony took place at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College where family members and friends joined faculty and staff in celebrating this milestone.
Ronnie Myers, D.D.S., dean of TCDM; Edward Farkas, D.D.S, vice dean; Founding Dean Jay Goldsmith, D.M.D.; and Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka, executive vice president of the Touro College and University System gave brief remarks. Jennifer Mehrens, president of the class of 2020, spoke on behalf of the students, and Allyson Brennan presented the Faculty of the Year Award to Dr. Marc Rosenblum in recognition of his commitment to dental education. Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and provost of New York Medical College, provided the White Coat Ceremony Address. The event also included the induction of 11 new members of the TCDM faculty to the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society, a distinguished honor based on scholarship and character.
“The Touro College of Dental Medicine takes great pride in welcoming the inaugural class as they pursue the clinical chapter in their dental education,” said Dean Myers. “The College strives to produce outstanding dental professionals who will provide excellent healthcare to diverse communities. Through our comprehensive DDS program and the Touro Dental Health teaching practice, the future of this class, who will be practicing for the next 40 years, is extraordinarily bright.”
“As New York State’s first dental school in nearly fifty years—and the only one in Hudson Valley—this inaugural class is vital to helping address the existing shortage of dental care in underserved and urban communities throughout the state,” said Dr. Farkas. “It’s exciting to see this new generation of dental professionals take the next step in their educational journey and begin putting what they’ve learned into practice.”
The White Coat Ceremony is a symbolic event, marking their official entrance into the dental profession. The first White Coat Ceremony was established by Arnold P. Gold, M.D., who sought to bring a humanistic focus to medicine. Currently, the ceremony takes place at nearly all medical and dental schools in the United States, as well as 19 other countries.
Opened in 2016, TCDM will improve the oral health care delivery network in New York State, where the population has grown by 4.5 million people since 1968, when the last school of dentistry opened. The College seeks to address New York State’s projected shortage of dentists as well as expand the network of dentists practicing in underserved areas.