June 28, 2017

Speakers Urge PA Students to Remember True Meaning of White Coat

June 28, 2017 | The 36 members of the physician assistant program’s Class of 2019 were urged to remember the true meaning of the white coat as they donned the jackets for the first time and pledged to care for their patients.

Both Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., and College of Health Professions Dean Douglas L. Murphy, Ph.D., reminded the students during the May 26 ceremony that their white coats are not a status symbol that separates practitioners from their patients, but rather a reminder of the responsibility that health care professionals bear.

Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., delivers the keynote address during the physician assistant white coat ceremony.

Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., delivers the keynote address.

“The white coat encourages you to enter into a professional pact in which you accept the obligations inherent in the practice of medicine: to be excellent in science and knowledge, to be compassionate, and to lead lives of uprightness and honor,” said Rahn. “The health of society and of your patients must be placed ahead of your own interests.”

Murphy urged students to see the coat as a “visible pledge” to your patients that you will “treat them with dignity and respect, share information freely in ways that are meaningful and useful to them, include them as full participants in health care, and collaborate with them as partners in their care.”

Wesley Wenzel, P.A.-S., the Class of 2017 president, said wearing a white coat was “an honor and a responsibility.”

The Physician Assistant Class of 2019

The Physician Assistant Class of 2019

“When you have your coat on you are no longer just representing yourself, but are representing our program, UAMS, and the physician assistant profession as well as all other medical providers,” he said.

Wenzel urged the students to draw motivation from their white coats when they are discouraged by their studies.

After all, “your future patients are counting on you.”

The students in the physician assistant Class of 2019 are:

  • Lauren Addison — Bentonville
  • Meagan Backs — Fayetteville
  • Robin Brown — Little Rock
  • Susan Contois — Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Katie Crawford — Danville
  • Olivia Dalton — Maumelle
  • Madison Elliott — Fayetteville
  • Laura Maggie Farrell — Fort Smith
  • Olivia Fritsche — Booneville
  • Ashley Gershner — Rogers
  • Reagan Graham — Sherwood
  • Taylor Gregory — Hot Springs
  • Terrell Hamilton — Ruston, Louisiana
  • Emily Hemphill — Austin, Texas
  • Alyssa Hissong — Overland Park, Kansas
  • David Holt — Maumelle
  • Eli Jackson — Harrisville, West Virginia
  • Casey Jenkins — Little Rock
  • Tommye Jones — Fayetteville
  • Jarret Keller — Owensville, Missouri
  • Lindsay Lawrence — Valley Springs
  • Rickey Lawson — Henryetta, Oklahoma
  • Kerry Mackey — New Providence, Bahamas
  • Emily McKinney — Benton
  • Leanne Metzger — Cabot
  • Robert Noble — Hot Springs
  • Lauren Novero — Little Rock
  • Bridget O’Leary — Short Hills, New Jersey
  • Lakyn Phillips — Magazine
  • Johnathon Schmidt — Wynne
  • Sarah Schreve — Texarkana, Texas
  • Bland Shackelford — Montrose
  • Amity Sparkman — Nixa, Missouri
  • Candace Stringer — El Dorado
  • Kallie Sullivan — Prairie Grove
  • Cryselda Trevino — Mercedes, Texas