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.
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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