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A Medical Rite of Passage: Future Physician Assistants Earn Their White Coats

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30 physician assistant (PA) graduate students at Bay Path University comprising its PA Class of 2020 received their white coats on Friday in a ceremonial tradition that symbolizes their commitment to the profession and their preparedness for clinical work.

The White Coat Ceremony originated at Columbia University in 1993, but the iconic white coat has been a prominent symbol for physicians since about 1889. Photos from surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital taken at about that time show physicians donning these coats, worn in an effort to prevent patient-provider contamination.

Today, the White Coat Ceremony is a widely practiced tradition in many health education programs throughout the country. At Bay Path, it signifies the indoctrination of students into the realm of physician assistant studies, formally initiating them into the journey from student to professional.

The University’s physician assistant studies program is among its most popular offerings, receiving hundreds of applications each year from students of diverse backgrounds. Click here to learn more about the program.