For the class of 2016 in the UF College of Medicine School of Physician Assistant Studies, the dream of becoming a health care professional came closer to reality June 5 when students added an important piece of clothing to their wardrobes during the school’s eighth annual White Coat Ceremony.
As each of the 60 physician assistants-in-training crossed the stage of the HPNP Auditorium and received their white coats, they not only accepted the uniform of their profession and the responsibilities that come with it, but they also acknowledged the transition from classroom learning to clinical studies.
“Education, like life, is marked by transitions,” said Ralph Rice, DHSc, PA-C, associate dean and director of the School of Physician Assistant Studies. “As Winston Churchill said, ‘Now is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’ Today begins the next phase with new challenges in your journey of learning.”
Before the presentation of the white coats, faculty members Elizabeth Brownlee, MPAS ’03, and David Indarawis, MPAS ’06, took the stage to offer sage advice.
“As you travel on this journey, stay positive, always be open to feedback and remember why you chose a career in medicine,” said Indarawis, director of clinical studies at the School of Physician Assistant Studies.
Rising second-year student Loren Bonenclark said her journey through UF’s physician assistant program wouldn’t be the same without the support of her family — especially her mother, Susan Bonenclark, MPAS ’05, who’s just a phone call away and has a first-hand understanding of her daughter’s experiences at UF.
“I know how hard it is to get through this program, and she’s fought the good fight and gotten through with spirit and enthusiasm,” Susan Bonenclark said. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
View more photos from the event on Facebook.