UD Holds First White Coat Ceremony for Future Physician Assistants
The University of Dayton held its inaugural physician assistant “white coat ceremony” at the end of 2015, marking the transition from classroom to clinical training for the new program’s first class.
“This is the rite of passage for medical professionals,” says Kelli Huesman, director of clinical education for the University’s physician assistant department. “It signifies that they are moving on to do what they are trained to do.”
The Master of Physician Assistant Practice, which began in 2014 and will graduate its first class this year, currently has more than 900 applicants for the next class of 40. UD created the program to help meet the expected demand for more health care professionals created, in part. by the Affordable Care Act.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment in the field will grow 38 percent between 2012 and 2020.
“There are just not enough physicians to cover the influx of millions of people who now have access to health care,” says Huesman. “The role of the physician assistant is expected to fill a huge void, particularly with family practice and rural medicine.”
Students in the first cohort will spend the next year completing rotations in family, internal and emergency medicine, orthopedics, general surgery, mental health. women’s health and pediatrics, as well as in one elective. They will work in the Dayton area, at the Cleveland Clinic or with Cincinnati-area hospitals.
Students wrote their own medical oath, based on the program’s mission to produce physician assistants who are committed to the service of the human person through the skillful, compassionate, and ethical provision of health care within the context of the Catholic Marianist tradition. Their white coats were made by Prime Medical Apparel, owned by University of Dayton alumnus Jim Sampey.
“The inaugural white coat ceremony is an important milestone of progress for the PA program,” says Kevin Kelly, dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences. “When these students graduate in a year, they will be serving the medical needs of the Miami Valley and Ohio.
“The PA program is a new manifestation of UD’s traditional mission to serve community and the greater social good.”
Photos courtesy the University of Dayton.
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