This year marked the 20th annual ceremony for the program.
Fifty-four students took their first steps toward a career as healthcare professionals during PCOM’s Physician Assistant (PA) White Coat Ceremony on August 18. The ceremony stands as a significant rite of passage that establishes a psychological contract for students beginning their health care training that stresses professionalism, scientific proficiency and compassionate care for the patient.
Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C, professor and chair, PA studies, urged the students to consider the implications of their white coats.
Donning a white coat reminds us that we have a responsibility to our patients to make them well and keep them well through preventive care,” she said. “We must always do what is best for our patients—even when it is not easy or convenient to do so.”
The class of 2019 was also addressed by Alyssa Davis, PA ’18, MS, who spoke of the struggles—and opportunities—each student would face in the program.
“Those stains [on your coat] stand for the skills and education you have required. After washing, it will become a blank canvass for more learning,” she said. “Always remember, [the coat] stands for not only what you have accomplished, but what you will accomplish.”
The class then recited the Oath for Physician Assistant Students, during which the students pledged to “uphold and enhance community values and use the knowledge and experience acquired as a PA to contribute to an improved community.”
The Master of Sciences in Health Sciences–Physician Assistant Studies program was launched in 1998.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained more than 15,000 highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach, treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy and doctor of psychology degrees and graduate programs in mental health counseling, school psychology, physician assistant studies, forensic medicine, organizational development and leadership, and biomedical sciences. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, education and service to the community and, through PCOM’s Healthcare Centers, provide care to the medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations.
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