School of Health Professions

Master of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2026 receives white coats

PA Studies Class of 2026 recites PA oath during white coat ceremony
Members of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2026 recite the Physician Assistant Oath during their white coat ceremony.


Fifty-nine members of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2026 received white coats and pins on May 24 in front of a full house of family and friends at Holly Auditorium.

Although for some health professions programs, receiving the white coat  traditionally marks the transition from the classroom phase to the clinical phase of the program, MPAS students receive their white coats in their first year, following orientation. 

“The donning of the white coat generally stresses entry into the profession, with a focus on ethics, professional practice and responsibility,” School of Health Professions Dean David Shelledy, PhD, RRT, FAARC, FASAHP, told the students in his remarks. “It’s all about you providing the very best care to your patients that you possibly can.”

MPAS Program Director and Chair Paul B. Allen, Sr., DSc, MPAS, PA-C, FAAPA, told the students following their recitation of the PA oath that the white coat means different things to different people, but that it is their duty to be worthy of wearing it.

“It is a symbol of the education you are receiving, and a caring emblem of the trust that you must earn from your patients, with every patient encounter,” Allen said. “You must prove worthy of this trust. It will be your honor to qualify daily to wear this white coat.  As you wear this, or any future white coat, may you continue to show your colleagues and patients that you have earned the privilege of representing what the white coat has come to mean to your patients and a reminder of the oath that you have taken here today.”

The department’s white coat ceremony is named in honor of the late U.S. Rep. Frank M. Tejeda, whose efforts supported legislation that fostered the collaboration between the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and the Interservice Physician Assistant Program at Fort Sam Houston. That collaboration led to the current Physician Assistant Studies program in the School of Health Professions.

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