Filled with hope and motivation to help others, 33 new students entering the Physician’s Assistant (PA) Class of 2017 donned their white coats for the first time today as part of the program’s second annual “White Coat Ceremony.”
Surrounded by family and friends, the students—who hailed from all parts of the country—were welcomed into the profession by BU Medical Campus Provost and BUSM Dean Karen Antman, MD, Associate Provost for the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences Linda Hyman, PhD, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Doug Hughes, MD.
“The symbolism of the white coat very much embodies our responsibility to care, to learn, to teach, to discover and ultimately to create a healthcare system that fully cares for our population in a way that we would want to be cared for as individuals,” said David Coleman, MD Wade Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief at Boston Medical Center
PA Program Director Mary Warner, PA-C, introduced the keynote speaker, Captain Robin N. Hunter Buskey, DHSc, CDE, CCHP, PA-C, as her personal role model when she was a PA student.
With more than 30 years of clinical experience, Hunter Buskey is a Senior Physician Assistant with the US Public Health Service assigned to the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina.
“Look ahead with optimism and know that you have chosen a challenging profession of which you can be proud,” she said. “Leave your legacy of excellence, integrity, social justice and service.”
The White Coat Ceremony is part of a time-honored tradition that marks the students’ entry into the medical profession. While the PA students matriculated in April of this year, they participate in the ceremony after they have learned the history and physical exam and before they begin weekly practice in the clinical setting.
After donning their coats and reciting the Physician’s Assistant Professional Oath, the students listened to remarks from Brendan Flaherty, a patient who has received several years of care from a PA.
“Thank you for what you do,” said Flaherty. “You really help us. You really care, and you go to bat for us each day.”