On Friday May 5, 2017 Memorial Auditorium was filled with eager parents, grandparents, family members and friends awaiting the white coat ceremony. Traditionally the white coat ceremony serves the purpose of welcoming the students as professional colleagues dedicated to patient care. Students are presented with the white coat, which is a traditional symbol of clinical service. The students also take a pledge of professionalism and dedication to ethical and quality patient care at the white coat ceremony. Seventy-eight students received their white coats during this ceremony. DPT faculty, staff, and second and third year DPT students were on hand to support and encourage the newly welcomed DPT professionals.
The white coat ceremony is a symbolic gesture but holds much more meaning to the students. One of the students who participated in the white coat ceremony, Sawyer Almasi, explained that “the white coat ceremony gave me the feeling that I was not just a student anymore, I was now a student physical therapist. As I was given the white coat it reminded me why I wanted to be a physical therapist in the first place.” Dr. Emmanuel John, Director of the PT program, agreed and said that the white coat ceremony “gives the students confidence and helps realign their priorities because when they are in the mode of school they can get tunnel vision, but this ceremony helps show them that they are welcomed into the profession and working towards something tangible.” When asking DPT student Hillary Bibeau (’17) what it meant for her to go through her own white coat ceremony last year and what it means to her to watch the new cohorts enter through this ritual she said “to me the white coat ceremony means a lot of things. It is like an initiation into the realm of the physical therapy profession. It is also a chance for students to realize that they are entering into something so much bigger than just themselves, especially when they recite the physical therapy code of ethics.”
The white coat ceremony is a unique tradition to medical related profession academic programs and Chapman University is proud to showcase their stellar group of DPT students who are newly inducted into the physical therapy profession.
Photos of DPT Students Attending White Coat Ceremony