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Physician Assistant Studies Students Celebrate White Coat Ceremony 
PA White Coat Ceremony 2021

August 25, 2021

The PA white coat ceremony is an annual rite of passage for PCOM's physician assistant studies students.The PA Studies Class of 2023 recently received their white coats, a symbolic step on their journey to becoming healthcare providers.

On Friday, August 20, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) celebrated its 24th annual White Coat Ceremony for 60 first-year physician assistant studies students. Each year, the white coat ceremony establishes a contract for beginning students that stresses the importance of compassionate care for patients, as well as scientific proficiency. Students and their families gathered at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue to celebrate this important step in their medical careers.

Laura Levy, DHSC, PA-C, chair, physician assistant studies, addressed the students and reminded them of the significance of their white coat as a healthcare provider. “The white coat emphasizes the humanistic value of the patient before self. Donning the white coat reminds us that we have a special responsibility to patients who look to us to help them become well and keep them from becoming ill,” shared. Dr. Levy.

Jennifer Grugan, PA ‘21, also spoke during the ceremony. As a recent graduate of PCOM’s physician assistant studies program, Ms. Grogan shared her advice with the incoming class and reminded them to focus their attention on their greater responsibility to their patients’ well-being. Ms. Grogan was also recently named the Sara Somers Rupert Humanitarian for the Class of 2021.

The PA white coat ceremony is an annual rite of passage for PCOM's physician assistant studies students.Each member of the class then received their white coats, which are endowed by the Sara Somers Rupert, RN ’33 White Coat Fund. The fund, started by M. Kimberly Rupert, PhD, and her mother, Sara, has supplied the white coats and books for the PA Studies program since 2002.

The class then recited the Oath for Physician Assistant Students before their friends and loved ones, thus publicly declaring their intent to practice medicine with conscience and dignity.

This year’s ceremony was live streamed on Facebook and YouTube. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, guests were required to wear masks.

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit or call 215-871-6100.

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