The white coat ceremony has become a tradition in medical training programs around the country and has a short but interesting history. The history for the ceremony at UCD is even shorter. Sometime last year, the second year students in our program felt so strongly that UCD needed a white coat ceremony that they took it on as a gift to the class that followed. That’s exactly how cool UC Davis PA students are.
They funded, planned, and hosted the event, which gave it a unique meaning. This is very typical of our program, from my experience; rather than competition (as you hear about in many medical programs), PA students at UCD are collaborative, and work as a team. Sometimes it surprises me how willing others are to help us.
There were keynote speeches by Sonny Cline, PA-C and Beth, Grivett, PA-C. After the keynote speeches, we took the Physician Assistant Professional Oath, and were coated by the second-year students. I joked about suddenly feeling smarter, but the truth is, I was anxious — starting January first, I will be working with real patients on a weekly basis. The ceremony is timed to coincide with the start of our preceptorships, when the classroom work contracts a little and the clinic work expands. I will be working at a family practice clinic in Mendocino County, assessing and treating patients with the help of my preceptor (more about him in another post). It was a terrific bit of acknowledgment, and I’m grateful to the second years for their hard work to make it happen.