UTech, Jamaica’s Dental Students Enter Clinical Years Marked by White Coat Presentation Ceremony

Dental Hygiene and Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) students pose for a group photograph  at their white coat presentation ceremony hosted by the College of Oral Health Sciences (COOHS), University of Technology, Jamiaca  on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium, Papine Campus.  Seated from left are COOHS faculty members, Dr. Yanestsy Thamarjo, Senior Lecturer, Dr. Su Yin Htun, Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon/Associate Professor and Head, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Programme Director, DMD Programme, Prof. Colin Gyles, Deputy President and Ms. Toni-Kay Dawkins, representative from sponsoring company, Colgate Palmolive Jamaica. 

Fifty-one students of the University of Technology, Jamaica’s College of Oral Health Sciences, officially entered the clinical years in their academic studies and training, marked by the symbolic 6th Annual White Coat Ceremony hosted by the College on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at the Alfred Sangster auditorium, Papine Campus.  Students in the second year of the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene and the third year of the Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) courses of study were  presented with their white coats during the ceremony.

Dr. Irving McKenzie, Dean of the College of Oral Health Sciences, in his welcome, told the gathering comprising proud parents, guardians, members of faculty and staff that the College continues to provide highly competent graduates to deal with the prevailing oral and dental health conditions that face Jamaica.  He noted that current students and graduates are making a tremendous impact on the oral health landscape of Jamaica, adding that UTech, Jamaica is the only Institution in the region that trains all categories of oral healthcare professionals.  Highlighting the achievements of the College, Dr. McKenzie reported that since 2015, the DMD students continue to excel as top performers in the region in the ADEX-NERB clinical examination administered by the Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA). 

As part of the College’s established service outreach, the Dean also noted that “all students, faculty and graduates are involved in oral health outreach activities throughout Jamaica.” He reported that the College has administered free oral healthcare to over 240, 000 patients island-wide free of cost.  “We continue to partner with some of the world’s largest humanitarian missions which include Great Shape Inc, USA and Christian Dental Mission, in this regard” he said.

Prof. Colin Gyles, Deputy President, in his address to the gathering, congratulated the students on reaching the important milestone in their academic journey having sufficiently mastered pre-clinical disciplines. Prof. Gyles reminded the students that as they carry out their duties as oral healthcare professionals, to do so with true empathy for the health and well-being of their patients.

Guest speaker Honourable Floyd Green, MP, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information lauded the University for its contribution to improved oral health practices in the country.  “You have done a fine job in setting yourself apart through excellence. You are not only good in the Jamaican context, but on the international stage your students are also performing at a high level,” the Minister asserted.  Minister Green in congratulating the students reminded them that “having donned your white coats, you have pledged to provide the highest standard of ethical care to your patients.”

The Minister called on the University to partner with the Ministry of Education in promoting proper oral healthcare practices especially at the early-childhood level in schools, to help stem the many dental complications being experienced by the adult population. 

Sponsors of the annual White Coat ceremony were Colgate Palmolive Jamaica and Listerine.

Miss Akaylia Brown, BSc Dental Hygiene student, presents a gift basket to guest speaker, the Hon. Floyd Green, MP, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information following his address.

Doctor of Medical Dentistry students display their gift bags from sponsor, Listerine, following the presentation of their white coats.

Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) students Jonelle Evans (left) and Victoria Brennan participate in the reciting of the Dental Hippocratic Oath during the ceremony.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-5299
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm