Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2021 Receives White Coats
August 20, 2019
The white coat establishes a psychological contract for students beginning their health
care training that stresses professionalism, scientific proficiency and compassionate
care for the patient.
The Physician Assistant Studies (PA) class of 2021 took its first steps toward a career as healthcare professionals during
PCOM’s 22nd PA White Coat Ceremony. These students will go on to become an integral
part of the healthcare team, serving on the front lines of patient care with physicians,
nurses, behavioral health practitioners and many others.
“Our healthcare workforce needs help,” said Kenneth Veit, DO ’76, MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean. “We need your help
to find ways to increase access to care for all Americans.”
Dr. Veit also congratulated the class for making it into an increasingly competitive
program; those accepted into the PA class of 2021—60 in total—surpassed more than
2000 other applicants for the coveted spots.
“Donning our white coat reminds us that we have a responsibility to our patients to
make them well and prevent illness, even when it is not easy to do so,” said Laura Levy, DHSC, PA-C, professor and chair, PA studies.
Recent graduate Anna Inserra (MS/PA ’19) urged the new class to learn ways to navigate
some of the hardships of the rigorous, 2-year program, as it would be worth it in
“It’s hard to look back on the person I was two years ago, because of how my physician
assistant education has shaped me, not just as a practitioner but as a person,” she
The PA class of 2021 represented 14 states including Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey,
California and Colorado. Thirty-five percent of the class identifies as non-white
or multi-race. The majority of students come from undergraduate institutions within
the Tri-State area (PA, DE, NJ) but also represented are the Rochester Institute of
Technology; University of California—Santa Cruz; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute,
among others. The most common undergraduate degrees for the class were biological
sciences; health science; and kinesiology. The average age of the class is 24.6.
The White Coat Ceremony is 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.
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 pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
For more information, contact: Daniel McCunney Associate Director, News and Media Relations Email: email@example.com Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: