If you’ve been reading Inside PA Training for a while, you’ll remember that I received my white coat ceremony just a year ago. My white coat came as part of the very first white coat ceremony at UC Davis School of Medicine’s FNP/PPA program. The event was organized and funded by the class ahead of us (Huge thanks to the class of ’11).
Well, it’s that time of year again, and my class, the class of 2012 is now the “senior” class (barely), and we continued the tradition by organizing the 2nd annual White Coat Ceremony on September 7. A team of our class officers and student volunteers expanded the white coat ceremony tradition slightly by getting a venue big enough for family members and friends to attend, and by cloaking each of the new first year students with his or her new white coat individually. The coats are given at the time when new students begin their work with patients, and they represent the rights and responsibilities that come with joining the PA profession.
We had several speakers, including our program director, Mark Christiansen; our class president, Dustin Jacot , who talked about the importance of family support for students;
myself, on the history of the white coat and its ceremony; and our keynote, Julie Theriault, PA-C, the former president of CAPA, and the national organization, the AAPA. I volunteered to speak after researching the history of the white coat and the white coat ceremony for an Inside PA Training article on the subject last year. Once I get the video of my speech from the videographer classmate, I’ll share it with you here.
It was an inspiring day, and it really drove home to me just how soon my time as a PA student will be at an end. This year’s class is smaller than ours (they are 35, we were 57) due to the changes that are underway at UCD – next year’s new class will begin the program with a new curriculum that will reward them with a master’s degree in PA science upon graduation.
Hopefully, this new class will carry on the tradition when they become the upperclassmen.