Health Professions

PA students don white coats, take oath

PA student receiving her white coat on stage

The 61 students in the Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2024 donned their white coats and received their pins during a May 18 ceremony recognizing both their entrance into the profession and their new responsibilities.

“Physician Assistants are not physicians, but practice medicine under the supervision of licensed physicians, and necessarily our training program follows that of the medical model of education,” said Paul B. Allen, Sr., DSc, MPAS, PA-C, FAAPA, associate professor, program director and chair of the PA Studies program.

“Therefore, this ceremony is closely aligned with that of our physician partners. After donning their white coats, our students recite the physician assistant oath, which is based on the Hippocratic oath their physician partners recite during their ceremony,” he said.

Donning his white coat was a powerful moment for first-year PA Studies student Anthony Mendoza, Jr.

“Receiving my white coat symbolized all of the sacrifices and dedication that it took to get to this point, but it also made me come to realization that this is just the start of a new journey — and that means more hard work, dedication and sacrifices to achieve the ultimate goal,” he said.

The 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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