University Community

Physician Assistant Class of 2025 receives White Coats

Family and friends gathered at the Dublin Integrated Education Center on Friday evening, June 23, 2023, to watch and celebrate as the Ohio University Physician Assistant (OUPA) Class of 2025 received their White Coats. 

The 33 students and more than 200 guests attending in person and those watching via Zoom were welcomed to the ceremony by Physician Assistant Program Director Melissa Bowlby.  

Also during the program, Clinical Education Director Kristin Lugo announced the OUPA Preceptor of the Year, Dr. Sarah Alderman, and presented her with a plaque in recognition of her dedication to clinical education and mentorship of OHIO PA students. Dr. Alderman also provided the keynote remarks for the event.   

Class of 2025 Class President Melissa Ratzel and Vice President Jakob Barzak each spoke during the evening about the importance of the White Coat, the friendships they have made with fellow students and the amazing amount of information they have learned since entering the program in January. 

The College of Health Sciences and Professions offers a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Practice (MPAP) at Ohio University's Dublin Integrated Education Center in Dublin, Ohio. The seven-semester, 27-month program is designed to prepare students to work in any clinical setting, with an emphasis on primary care in urban and rural medically under-served communities in Ohio and throughout Appalachia.

Physician Assistant  students recite the Hippocratic Oath

The White Coat has long been the symbol of medicine, dating back to the late 1800s.  It is also a visual representation of the commitment made to patients and the oath to “do no harm”.    

The first full-fledged White Coat Ceremony was held for medical students entering medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1993. Dr. Arnold P. Gold, who was a pediatric neurologist and professor at the medical school, wanted to establish the expectations and guidelines for the medical students at the start of their careers in medical schools rather than waiting until the end after their training was completed. Since that first ceremony, other medical and healthcare professions have adopted this tradition. The ceremony, along with the Hippocratic Oath, is considered the rite of passage into medicine.

July 6, 2023
Staff reports