HPU Welcomes Inaugural Physical Therapy Doctoral Class

High Point University’s Congdon School of Health Sciences welcomed the inaugural Physical Therapy Doctoral Class with a White Coat Ceremony on Sept. 10. The class is comprised of 60 students from 19 states, selected from 1,000 applications.

This fall, HPU officially opens the $120 million Congdon Hall, home to the Congdon School of Health Sciences and Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, prestigious faculty and newly designed curriculum, the schools have created a cornerstone for medical innovation at HPU.

Graduating in 2020, this class of future physical therapists will see their jobs grow by 34 percent in eight years – almost five times the national average. In October, students will begin working in a pro bono community clinic near HPU’s campus, where they will see local patients.

“The white coat ceremony is an important milestone in the development of our program and in the development of our students,” says Dr. Eric Hegedus, HPU physical therapy professor and founding chair. “It symbolizes the embracing of the ethics and values that embody the profession of physical therapy.”

“High Point University is proud of the inaugural class in the physical therapy program,” says Dr. Dennis Carroll, HPU Provost. “These high quality students chose High Point because of the outstanding reputation of the faculty,  the quality curriculum, the strong clinical connections, and the unwavering commitment of the university.  These men and women will make a significant difference in the lives of their patients and will make important contributions to the field of medicine” 

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 medical 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 physical therapists.

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