White Coat Ceremony marks graduates' transition to professional lives
Jack Gardner, physician assistant and 2012 AAPA Humanitarian of the Year award winner, addressed the students. Gardner worked in the insurance industry for 30 years before becoming a physician assistant. Today, Gardner spearheads humanitarian efforts worldwide and has provided desperately needed medical care to more than 10,000 people in Central America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.
"Providing health care is a noble calling. Providing health care to the desperately needy should be part of that noble calling," Gardner told graduates. "My hope is that there is a time when you remember the faces of the truly needy people that you helped live a better life or maybe helped to just lived."
Cynthia Lord, professor and director of the physician assistant program, underscored the importance of the White Coat ceremony for PA graduates. "The QU PA White Coat Ceremony serves as a powerful symbol of the oath PAs take and the responsibilities PAs and PA students have toward patients and their profession," said Lord. "It symbolizes the need for physician assistants to possess not only the knowledge and skills required to care for patients, but also the empathy and compassion to treat human beings."
"The White Coat Ceremony is an acknowledgement of the confidence that the Quinnipiac University PA faculty members have placed in the graduates. The act of placing the White Coat on the graduate symbolizes the trust the faculty have in them and their demonstrated ability to adhere to the highest medical standards. The ceremony serves as a reminder of the PA graduate's need to balance excellence in the medical sciences with demonstrated compassionate patient care."