Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Class Receives White Coats
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PA Studies Class Receives White Coats

August 22, 2016

Last week, PCOM’s Physician Assistant Studies class of 2018 took their first steps toward careers as competent and compassionate health care professionals during the program’s White Coat Ceremony, 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, chair, physician assistant studies, greeted the class with warm words, and a reverence for the profession. “We must have the purist intention for doing what is best for our patients,” she said.

Kaitlin Lassen, MS/PA ’16, shared her experiences in the program and advised students to “trust the process."

“Know that what is happening is best for your education. Remember why you chose to become a physician assistant—compassion and empathy are vital,” she said. “You are all smart, capable and confident; let those carry you into the future.”

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.

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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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