CPHS White Coat Ceremony: a milestone in the healthcare student journey

There are important milestones in a healthcare student’s journey, and, for some, one of the first is the White Coat Ceremony. A white coat is the outward sign of a student’s entry into their healthcare education. The coat emblazoned with the Campbell University logo lets the world know that these students are preparing for a purposeful life of meaningful service in a healthcare career.

This College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ ceremony included several alumni who came back to campus to take part in this auspicious event. Jada Dillner (’22 MPAP), Julia Niemi (’17 MPAP, ’17 MSPH), Mary Parker (’98 PharmD), and Michael Gregory (’22 PharmD) each reminisced about receiving their white coat as they helped make the ceremony a special event for the incoming students.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy students joined the Doctor of Pharmacy students and Master of Physician Assistant Practice students for the first time this year bringing the number of students coated to 173. The coats were generously provided by alumni. The Class of 2022 Wallace Student Society sponsored the white coats for the Master of Physician Assistant Practice students. The Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2022 and pharmacy alumni who gave through the Note in the Coat campaign sponsored the white coats for the Doctor of Pharmacy students. The physical therapy alumni who gave through the Note in the Coat campaign sponsored the white coats for the Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

Alumna Mary Parker provided the professional address and wanted to emphasize a few key messages for the incoming classes:

  • Always remember kindness and empathy are free.
  • Take care of you; you are valuable resource and cannot burnout. You are a priority, and you need to treat yourself as a priority.
  • Be open to ‘yes.’ There will be requests that you will receive to do something that falls outside of your comfort zone, such as writing a paper, joining a committee, or expanding a care modality to a new population. Be open to saying yes in order to open your eyes and expand your opportunities beyond those on your radar.
  • Spend time with your loved ones and your supporters and never cut out time with them for work unless it’s urgent.
  • Make friends with the students who are being coated with you. They will cross paths with you in coming years and make sure that you build and maintain those relationships as they will pay dividends throughout your life.

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