Coats of compassion

Three little boys sat eagerly next to their mother and waited. Then they saw their father, Jamie Osborne, walk across the stage in his brand new white coat.

“Good job, daddy!” shouted 5-year-old Hunter Osborne, the eldest of the three, stealing the show as the audience expressed adoration for the boy’s sweet gesture.

Ralph Rice, DHSc, PA-C, director of the UF School of Physician Assistant Studies, welcomes students and guests to the school's fifth annual White Coat Ceremony. Photo by Maria Belen Farias

Jamie Osborne is one of the 59 students in the UF College of Medicine School of Physician Assistant Studies’ class of 2013 who received their white coats during the school’s fifth annual White Coat Ceremony, held June 8 in the HPNP Auditorium.

“Today, we celebrate a special occasion of our future colleagues,” said Ralph Rice, DHSc, PA-C, director of the School of PA Studies. “White coats are symbols of unselfish concern for others that we must have as health care professionals.”

Similar to medical school, the ceremony marks the transition from academic to clinical studies for the school’s entering second-year students, who will graduate with their PA degrees next summer. The clinical courses begin July 2.

The class of 2013 has led an active first year of studies. It is the School of PA Studies’ first class to hold a body donor appreciation service. Students also built a house for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit housing ministry, and they have volunteered locally and internationally.

Jamie Osborne, a UF PA student, celebrates with his wife, Ashley, and their sons, Hunter, Logan and Ethan. Photo by Maria Belen Farias

“Our class shares strength and intellect, growing together as we make a name for Gator PAs wherever we go,” said Christina Marcucci, class president.

Families and friends applauded the students’ milestone. Hunter and his younger brothers, Logan and Ethan, held onto their parents’ arms as the Osborne family posed for photos during the reception, which occurred after the ceremony.

“I am very proud of what my husband does,” said Ashley Osborne, who’s been married to Jamie Osborne for 13 years. “He balances school, part-time military duties with the National Guard, and time with me and our three children.”