School of Health Professions

MLS students don white coats in inaugural ceremony

MLS students in their white coats following inaugural white coat ceremony
Photo credit: Stephen Spillman at Spillman Photos

Students in the Medical Laboratory Sciences Class of 2023 received their white coats in the program’s first-ever white coat ceremony.

The Sept. 16 event highlighted the tradition of the white coat, which is a symbol of the transition from the pre-clinical to clinical phase of the program and underscores the oath students take to provide the highest standard of ethical care to patients.

In addition to Division of Medical Laboratory Sciences faculty, students and their guests also heard remarks from School of Health Professions Dean David Shelledy, PhD, RRT, FAARC, FASAHP, and program alumnus Peter Ramirez, MD.

“You are taking on additional responsibilities which are quite real and quite serious,” Shelledy told the 35 master’s and bachelor’s students in attendance.

Ramirez, who graduated with a bachelor’s in medical laboratory technology in 1981 and established the Medical Laboratory Sciences Endowment Fund in 2003, encouraged students to enjoy the clinical phase of their education.

“It’s also time to find your passion,” he said. “You will find the area that interests you. Go for it.”

Students requested the ceremony and were the driving force in creating a new tradition for the MLS program. The event highlighted the important work of the medical laboratory scientist, said Ellena Pavese, president of the both the MLS Student Association and the MLS Class of 2023.

“The white coat ceremony was a moment for each student to really appreciate their role in the health care professions and to feel appreciated and recognized,” Pavese said.

“We work in a lab and we don’t get a lot of one-on-one patient contact, so you kind of miss that impact you have on families and the community,” she added. “Being told we are going to have a huge impact on people’s lives made us remember that our position is pretty vital and important and something we should take seriously.”

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