College of Saint Mary Communications
CSM celebrates 4th annual Physician Assistant White Coat Ceremony
OMAHA, Neb. (October 1, 2019) – College of Saint Mary (CSM) celebrated its 4th annual Physician Assistant White Coat Ceremony on Wednesday, September 25. The event recognized physician assistant (PA) students who have earned entry into clinical patient care by presenting them with their white coats.
“This evening marks the beginning of your vocation as healers,” said Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, president of College of Saint Mary, who gave the closing remarks. “Your white coat will signal to those you serve that you [have knowledge]. The faculty and staff believe you will become women and men who are called to assist with the healing of patients. You will embrace the sick not just to help cure the obvious illness but also to soothe their minds and hearts.”
Clare Kennedy, MPAS, director of the physician assistant studies program at CSM, presided over the ceremony. Lauren Largen M’21 led the invocation, and Dr. Sarah Kottich, provost at CSM, delivered the keynote speech. After being presented with their white coats, the PA students recited the Physician Assistant Student Oath.
The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage into the profession for PA students beginning their careers in healthcare. The White Coat symbolizes professionalism, ethical behavior, compassionate care, and service to others. This was the first time CSM’s White Coat Ceremony was celebrated in the fall, as it previously occurred in the summer. The change reflects the professionalism level that the students enter into during their didactic year of education.
This event marks the fourth group of students to receive their white coats since the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program was launched at CSM in 2016. Some of the students are part of CSM’s accelerated PA program, which enables students to take pre-PA classes as undergraduates and become practicing physician assistants in just five years.
Upon receiving their white coats, students will complete their didactic year of education in the classroom and then enter their final 12 months of clinical rotations with hands-on practice in varied medical settings. Created during a rising demand for PA careers, CSM’s Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies program is one of CSM’s newest academic additions and is one of more than 35 graduate and undergraduate programs offered by the University.
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