9 Aug 2017

Heritage University Physician Assistant Program Students Receive White Coats

Heritage University Physician Assistant Program Students Receive White Coats

Author: David Mance  /  Categories: Campus, Health  / 

The students of Heritage University’s Physician Assistant Educational Program Class of 2019 received the most important symbol of their chosen profession, the white coat during a ceremony at Heritage University over the weekend. Family, friends and supporters filled Smith Family Hall to witness the students being robed by PA faculty.

The robing of the white coat is a ritual that marks the student’s transition into clinical health sciences. The students became eligible to receive their white coats after successfully completing a nine-week term during the summer.

“This ceremony is an important marker in the student’s journey to the physician assistant profession,” said Linda Dale, DHEd, program director of the Physician Assistant Educational Program. “This is the first time they publicly proclaimed the PA oath, which is a promise to put the health, safety and privacy of their patients first while adhering to a professional code of ethics.”

Heritage University Provost Dr. Laurie Fathe congratulated the students on reaching this milestone, and how their education will prepare them for advances in the world of medicine. "The lone practitioner has been replaced by an integrated team which addresses all facets of a patient’s needs, including physical health, mental health, and the involvement of the family in the patient’s care," said Dr. Fathe. "Today’s health care team is comprised of Nurses, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Mental Health Counselors, Doctors, and a host of technical support people who manage all the technology that underpins today’s healthcare. The technical revolution in health care is ongoing, and will continue to alter the way healthcare is approached in the United States and around the world."

Guest speaker, Constance D. Huynh, PA-C, MPH, the President of the Washington Academy of Physician Assistants, praised the students and reminded them of the vital role they will play in providing health care to the entire community. "We are the bridge that enhances the access to quality health care for patients who don't have that access. We are the ones that maintain that affordability of that medicine and that health care." said Huynh.

Joel Ciolek was one of the PA program students who received a white coat on Saturday. He is honored to take this next step in becoming a medical professional. “How does it feel to wear a white coat and take my professional oath? A foot taller in faith. A pound heavier in gratitude. A step in the right direction. A smile always shared. A gift of measureless grace,” said Ciolek.

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