SUWANEE, Ga., Jan. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia's potential healthcare workforce was boosted by 211 members recently when PCOM Georgia students received their white coats in an online ceremony on December 29. The students include 139 Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students, 40 Doctor of Physical Therapy students, and 32 Physician Assistant Studies students who are earning their Master of Science in Health Sciences.
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Provost Kenneth Veit, DO '76, MBA, called the event "particularly meaningful at a time when the members of our professions face unique challenges as frontline workers during a pandemic."
Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81, PCOM president, welcomed the students to "an observance that marks a pivotal educational and professional milestone" and represents the world of clinical medicine. He said, "By donning the white coat, your world shifts to putting the patient first, a priority that must never waver throughout your professional career. When you put the patient first, everything else takes care of itself."
Joseph Kaczmarczyk, DO '82, MPH, MBA, interim dean and chief academic officer of PCOM Georgia, acknowledged that COVID-19 has affected everything including white coat ceremonies, although the significance has not been diminished. He noted, however, that the meaning of the white coat, which traditionally focuses on professionalism and humanism, has been expanded due to the pandemic.
He said, "The practice of medicine always had and will continue to have inherent risks…which are more real now than ever before. Today, the white coat represents the willingness to accept those risks in service to others and to subordinate your needs to the needs of patients. The white coat now is evidence of service above self."
In addressing the students, Gregory McDonald, DO '89, dean of the School of Health Sciences, spoke of the power and responsibility of the white coat, a responsibility that "cannot be taken lightly. You are not only representing yourself, but every other healthcare provider that treats patients."
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. www.pcom.edu.
SOURCE Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine