January 30, 2023

Philippines Dental Students Celebrate White Coat Ceremony

It was the first event of its kind at the Adventist University of the Philippines.

University of the Philippines College of Dentistry, and Adventist Review
The College of Dentistry of Adventist University of the Philippines started the second semester of the 2022-2023 academic year with its first white coat ceremony. [Photo: Adventist University of the Philippines College of Dentistry]

The College of Dentistry at the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) started the second semester of the 2022-2023 academic year on January 19 with its first ever white coat ceremony for dental students. 

The ceremony was held at the Philippine International Church, Puting Kahoy, Silang, Cavite, with the theme, Poiema, a Greek word that means “workmanship” or “something made” in the context of God as the Maker.

College of Dentistry (COD) dean Herminiano Subido Jr. said that the COD Clinician’s Club, under the leadership of Precious Mindac, Beatrix Castillo, Andrea Dandoy, Nathania Dominguez, Jeperson Rada, and Jen Esteves, planned and executed the event. He praised the students for expressing a desire to mark the beginning of their history. 

“I respect students who have big dreams,” Subido said. “The present is history. The Adventist University of the Philippines’ College of Dentistry is today holding its inaugural white coat ceremony. It serves as a visible declaration of everyone’s readiness to answer the call to devote their time to meeting the dental needs of others. May everyone’s day be blessed today.”

Lalaine Alfonso, SSD health ministries director, emphasized the importance of workmanship as she spoke for the program. She shared, as an example, how Michelangelo transformed an apparently useless slab of stone into the statue of David, his famed piece of art. “Clinicians can also transform their patients’ lives from something twisted to something beautiful by practicing craftsmanship and using all of their strength,” Alfanoso said.

She added, “The most fulfilling thing in life for a Christian missionary dentist is to serve as a witness for Christ by being God’s poiema. Every person has a masterpiece inside, even those with scars.”

As the program came to a close, Gracel Ann Saban, AUP vice president for academics, urged students to infuse love into everything they do. “Constantly enjoy what you are doing,” Saban said, “because every activity will help you become ready for the route you have chosen.”

After the physicians’ pledge, department chair Verallel Caplis spoke a message to parents, thanking them and requesting their ongoing support for the clinicians. “Let us [the parents] give them [the clinicians] that additional pat on the back …, that hug, telling them that we love them as they celebrate this milestone,” Caplis said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.