HPU to Host Inaugural White Coat Ceremony for Physician Assistant Studies

Who: High Point University students, faculty, staff, Department of Physician Assistant Studies and members of the community. Media is invited to attend.

What: Inaugural White Coat Ceremony

Where: Hayworth Fine Arts Center on HPU’s campus

When: 2 p.m. on June 7

Why: High Point University’s Physician Assistant Studies program will welcome its inaugural cohort of students at the White Coat Ceremony. More than 800 applicants competed for 20 spots in the first class.

High Point University has broken ground on an $85 million building to house the School of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy. Physician Assistant Studies is the first of three new programs that will be housed in the complex. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, prestigious faculty and newly designed curriculum, the schools will create a cornerstone for medical innovation at HPU.

Located in the Piedmont Triad, 55 percent of clinical sites are within five miles of campus, while 80 percent of clinical sites are within 20 miles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 38 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The white coat, worn by medical professionals, is often seen as a symbol of authority, purity, professionalism, caring and trust. Since its inception in 1993, the White Coat Ceremony has become a national and international phenomenon among medical schools. The ceremony was designed to welcome new medical students into the profession and alert beginning students to the need to balance excellence in science with compassionate patient care. It has since been adopted by hundreds of colleges and universities involved in the education and training of a variety of health and medical professions, including the physician assistant.

“The White Coat Ceremony marks the start of a lifelong journey for these new students,” says Dr. Linda Sekhon, founding chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. “It will serve to illuminate their path as they solidify their passion for the PA profession and recognize their ability to impact humanity in significant ways.”

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