LOCK HAVEN, Pa. — Pa.tricia Niziolek of Elizabeth, was one of the sixty-six students in the Lock Haven University Physician Assistant Program who donned their white coats for the first time during the White Coat Ceremony on April 29.
Traditionally, the White Coat Ceremony marks the transition that healthcare providers make from classroom science-based education to clinical sciences and patient contact. It serves to remind them of the need for compassion and caring in the healing arts and recognizes the students’ academic accomplishments to date and the trust they have attained from the faculty to being caring for patients in the clinical realm.
In a ceremony intended to celebrate “Humanism in Medicine” the student address was delivered by Dr. Mark Dembert Capt (MC) Ret, Chief of Psychiatry for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Dr. Dembert presented a series of stories that provided guidance on how students should approach the care of their patients and practice. The faculty recognized the student’s accomplishments in the classroom and attested to their preparedness to enter the clinical phase of training.
Program Medical Director Dr. Michael R. Greenberg administered the White Coat Pledge: “It is with honor that we don our white coats from this day forth. We pledge by what we hold most sacred to use it not as a shield but as a bridge to reach out to those entrusted to our care. We shall strive with passion and humility to create lasting alliances in health, pursue professional integrity and provide compassionate care for all.”
Walter Eisenhauer, director of the LHU PA Program, said “This represents the largest class in the history of the PA Program to be administered the oath of office, thanks to the recent expansion of the program to the Coudersport and Harrisburg locations.”
The White Coat Ceremony had its origins at Columbia University Medical School and is sponsored nationwide at medical colleges and PA programs to promote humanism in medicine.
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