April 10 turned out to be a day to remember for the 99 doctor of pharmacy students who that afternoon began their transition from the classroom phase to the clinical phase of their pharmacy education.
The White Coat Ceremony is a pivotal moment between the students’ third and fourth years of pharmacy school. The event marks the beginning of their advanced clinical rotations in hospitals, community pharmacies, Indian Health Service offices, ambulatory care clinics and a variety of other experiential settings.
The ceremony symbolizes the transition from the passive environment of the classroom to the active environment of the clinic, in which students will apply everything they have learned in the past three years to the health and well-being of the patients they serve, John Regan, professor at the College of Pharmacy and master of ceremonies, told the assembled families and friends of the student pharmacists.
Representing the Class of 2016, Peter Semonche spoke of the trust, humanity, compassion and achievement that the white coat represents. He continued by explaining how the “classroom has taught us the importance of the white coat and all it symbolizes, but our closest friends and family have given value, worth and meaning to its symbolism and all we have worked so hard to achieve.”
The keynote speaker at the gathering was Lucinda Maine, executive vice president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. She advised the students to “take your awesome white coat and phenomenal base of knowledge” into the year ahead and greet it with excitement.
The White Coat Ceremony at the College of Pharmacy was initiated by the members of the Class of 2002 and first performed on April 30, 2001.
To see more photos of the 2015 ceremony, visit the college's Flickr album.