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Class of 2018 Physician Assistant Students Don White Coats for First Time

June 27, 2016 | Thirty-eight students in the physician assistant program in the UAMS College of Health Professions donned their white coats for the first time on May 20 and recited an oath to care for their patients.

The students are at the beginning of a 28-month master’s degree program that will prepare them to provide high-quality health care to patients with supervision of a physician.

“The need for health care providers continues to increase dramatically in Arkansas and the rest of the nation. We need more physicians, physician assistants and APRNS to help meet the demand for health care in our state,” said Douglas Murphy, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health Professions. “Students in this audience are part of the solution for providing greater access to health care for more people and improving service quality throughout the system.”

Referring to core concepts of patient- and family-centered care, Murphy urged the students not to see the white coat as a symbol of authority but rather as a pledge to patients and their families to treat them with dignity and respect and include them as partners in their health care.

Richard Turnage, M.D., executive associate dean for clinical affairs, told students “this is a great time to be a PA, and I congratulate you on choosing that profession.”

“The way we think about and practice medicine is changing drastically,” he said. “I believe the impact of these changes on our patients will far outweigh the scientific and technical advances that we have seen. Physician assistants will play a key, central role in the patient- and family-centered models of care.”

Kyndle Faulkner, president of the Class of 2016, told students that she took her first exam in the program just hours before the white coat ceremony. She was lined up to receive her coat, and they skipped her.

“I was certain this was how you were kicked out of the program,” she said to audience laughter. “Thank goodness, it was an honest mistake.”

She urged her fellow physician assistant students to remain humble while wearing the white coat.

“You will be privy to your patients’ most private and vulnerable moments,” she said. “You will witness devastating loss and incredible joy. You will be present for the death of a beloved grandparent and you will be the first face a newborn baby sees as they enter this world. All because you are wearing this white coat.”

Melissa Clark, Pharm. D., M.P.H., the director of didactic education, and Edward Williams, M.P.A.S., M.Ed., P.A.C., the director of clinical education, coated the students. Then they were led by Nadja Button, M.H.S., P.A.C. in saying the Physician Assistant Professional Oath.

The students in the physician assistant Class of 2018 are:

Katlyn Anderson – Hot Springs

Hailey Arens – Wynne

Hannah Banning – Clarksville

Kaylee Barnett – Mansfield, Texas

Brooke Carr – New Boston, Texas

Tyler Childs – Hot Springs

Cameron Chin – Arlington, Texas

Megan Cowling – Magnolia

Deverick Delph – Menifee

Rohan Desai – Fort Smith

Courtnery Dunagan – Coffeeville, Alabama

Seth Eiland – Camden

Michael Elliott – Texarkana

Faith Ellis – Sugarland, Texas

Leslee Everett – Hoxie

Allison Fritzsche – Alpharetta, Georgia

Sylvie Gimple – Geneva, Switzerland

Heather Golinko – Rocky River, Ohio

Christina Haigwood – Batesville

Taylor Haines – Pensacola, Florida

Hillary Hanvey – Maumelle

John Head – Little Rock

Allison Henry – Little Rock

Laura Hicks – Shreveport, Louisiana

Jeffrey Hillhouse – Coweta, Oklahoma

Kara Iribarren – Fayetteville

Allison Joye – Leawood, Kansas

Molly Koch – Searcy

Kathryn McMahan – Princeton, Texas

Summer Mojica – Bryant

Tien Nguyen – Arlington, Texas

Lauren Rainwater – Little Rock

Aubrey Roth – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Rebecca Schultz – Hot Springs

Ada Sochanska – Northfield, Illinois

Elizabeth Wennerstrom – Little Rock

Erica Williams – Bryant

Carson York – Salem

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