Ceremony welcomes future doctors, dentists

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It may be a simple white coat to most, but for the 247 new Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry students, receiving their ceremonial lab coats is the first step in becoming future doctors and dentists.

Alumni Hall was bursting with pride Tuesday morning as parents, friends and family joined students entering Doctor of Dental Surgery Class of 2023, Internationally Trained Dentists Class of 2021 and Doctor of Medicine Class of 2023.

The White Coat Ceremony is a symbolic milestone when students are presented with the white coats synonymous with their careers. Donning the white coat represents the official beginning of training and welcoming them into their professions. In doing so, they symbolically agree to the professional, social and ethical responsibilities of becoming a physician. They also recited the Hippocratic Oath.

This year’s incoming medicine class is the first to have been selected through the initial phase of changes to the medical school admissions process. Research has shown that academic metrics, like Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores and GPA alone, do not necessarily predict success as a physician, and the new process aims to put more focus on applicants’ experiences and values.

The new admissions process meant that the school considered an additional 280 candidates for an interview this year by widening the MCAT thresholds.

In an effort to further increase diversity, inclusivity and equity, the school recognizes traditional admissions processes may not be equitable to some demographics such as those with financial, medical and sociocultural challenges. The next phase of changes will include an ACCESS pathway, which will provide even more flexibility for MCAT scores for applicants with such barriers.