Students in the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies (PA) Class of 2012 took the first major step toward their future careers in medicine on July 14, participating in the University’s annual White Coat Ceremony in The Kanbar Campus Center.
Each year, student mentors in the graduating class of PA students formally place the short white coat symbolic of medical training on members of the next year’s class to signify their transition from classroom work in medicine to clinical rotations. Forty-seven students in the Class of 2012 were officially presented with their coats in front of a crowd of family and friends.
“You have to love any graduation ceremony whose length is dependent primarily on how long the hugs are,” said Provost Randy Swearer at the ceremony. “I just love this event, and I love this program.”
Students from the Class of 2011 were present for the coating ceremony, helping the underclassmen into their professional attire for the first time, often, as Swearer alluded, with a hug. The Class of 2012 then swore the Physician Assistant Professional Oath and toasted their fellow classmates. The students pledged to hold as their primary responsibility the “health, safety, welfare and dignity of all human beings,” as they begin their clinical work in hospitals and other medical facilities across the country.
“This ceremony celebrates the maturation of the class from strictly classroom students to actually treating patients in real-life settings,” said Lawrence Carey, PharmD, director of the physician assistant studies program. “It is wonderful for the faculty to have been witness to the growing process, and we are very proud of these students as they take the next step towards becoming health care practitioners.”
The M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program at Philadelphia University is housed in the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts, and was recently ranked the 18th best PA program nationally by U.S. News and World Report. The program offers B.S./M.S. and M.S. degrees in Physician Assistant Studies, as well as a joint M.B.A./M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies.