January 27, 2020

For a healthcare professional, the white coat is a symbol of success and commitment. Thanks to the generosity of alumni of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, White Coat ceremonies now extend beyond the pharmacy program to include Physician Assistant, Radiological Sciences and Science programs. clinical laboratory.

“Putting on the white coat is an important step in the development of a healthcare professional,” explains Dean Russell J. DiGate.

“We are grateful that so many of our graduates have agreed to sponsor white coats for our students as they enter their profession. It’s a small gesture that means a lot.

Last October, during National Physician Assistant Week, 75 members of the Physician Assistant (PA) class of 2021 received their cropped white coats in a ceremony that included a keynote address by Dawn Morton- Rias, ’05Ed.D., PA-C, President and CEO, National Physician Assistant Certification Commission. This is the final class of undergraduate medical assistants as the program moves into a master’s degree program. Graduating students will receive their white coats next year.

Also in October, 25 third-year radiological science students donned their white coats. This is the year in which these students begin their discipline-specific courses and clinical placements, which this year will include for the first time an internship at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center. Shawn P. O’Toole RT (R), director of radiology at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, one of the rotational sites of the program, delivered the keynote address.

Students in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences (CLS) program receive their white coats at the start of their fourth and final year, which, unlike other programs, begins in June and ends the following May. This year, 10 members of the Class of 2020 received their white coats at a ceremony featuring keynote speaker Giuseppe Pipia BS, MT (ASCP), who was responsible for laboratory operations at the New York Presbyterian / Queens at the time of the event.

The white coat ceremony for doctoral pharmacy students takes place every October as part of the celebration of National Pharmacy Month. Last year 195 third year pharmacy students received their white coats and heard an inspiring talk about creating unique practice opportunities from Dr. Tina Bayuse, the first pharmacist employed as a senior pharmacist at JSC Pharmacy Operations.

For students who are taking their first steps into the health professions they want, the white coat is important. “During the ceremony, students take an oath to uphold the ethics and principles of the profession, and the mantle is a symbol of that promise,” says Jennifer Chiu, Ed.D., MBA, RT, (R) ( CT) (ARRT), Associate Professor and Program Director, Radiological Sciences.

These ceremonies are also important for student families. “For families, it’s a way to learn more about the world their students are entering,” says Lisa Hochstein, MS, MLS (ASCP), associate professor and director of the clinical laboratory science program. “Often families don’t know the extent of our program, so it’s a good way for them to understand. “

The important role former students play in white coat ceremonies cannot be overstated.

“When the students are at school, there are many professionals who help them along the way. Once they graduate, it’s important to give back, ”says Louise Lee, EdD, MHA, PA-C and Physician Assistant Program Director.

“When alumni sponsor a coat, they can include a personal note in the coat pocket. The students appreciate it so much and receiving these coats and personal messages really means a lot to them, ”she adds.

Alumni interested in sponsoring a white coat for next year’s class may contact: Diana J Patino, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Administration.

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