In front of family, friends and faculty members, Philadelphia University’s physician assistant studies students celebrated their commencement Aug. 12, reciting an oath to carry out their responsibilities as health care providers with honesty and dedication.
“As I look out at the 48 faces of our graduating PA students, I see 48 students who gave their all to countless hours of study, patient care, more hours of study, community service, more hours of study, support of fellow students and, yes, more hours of study,” Jesse Coale, director of the physician assistant program, said at the ceremony. “Every one of you should be proud of your accomplishments.”
Many graduates have jobs in such specialties as orthopedics, internal medicine, urology, trauma surgery, dermatology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, family medicine and transplant surgery. Two students will head to surgical residencies at Yale and Duke university medical schools.
During their time at PhilaU, the class participated in numerous outreach efforts both locally and abroad. For the Global Medical Brigades, they traveled to Honduras, Panama, Ghana and Nicaragua, providing patient care and meeting with community health workers to help improve the care of area residents.
Awards for this year’s graduates include:
- Class President’s Award for Student Service: Dominique Koons
- Joel Chinitz Award for Community Service: Anju Thomas
- Edward D. Dowden Award for Academic Excellence: Morgan DeWalt
- Program Director’s Award for Clinical Excellence: Bethany Gilbert
- Clinical Preceptor of the Year for Outstanding Performance as Medical Educators and for Assisting in the Advancement of PA Education: Dr. Helene Koch
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. David Nash, the founding dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health and a board-certified internist internationally recognized for his work in public accountability for outcomes, physician leadership development and quality-of-care improvement.
Earlier this summer, the physician assistant studies Class of 2017 took an important career step at the White Coat Ceremony marking the start of their clinical rotations working on-site with healthcare providers. During the July 15 event, 78 students ceremonially donned their new white medical coats, assisted by their mentors in the Class of 2016.
During this professional phase of the program, students get hands-on clinical experiences in specialties that include internal medicine, primary care, pediatrics, women’s health, emergency medicine, psychiatry/mental health, surgery, dermatology, neurology, orthopedics, cardiology, neonatal intensive care, neurosurgery, oncology and plastic surgery.
PhilaU is ranked in the top 20 percent of accredited physician assistant programs nationally, according to U.S. News and World Reports. Click here to contact us about applying to PhilaU’s physician assistant studies program.