Fifth-year students at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy made the transition from student to pharmacist on April 26, when they officially donned their white coats.
Over the past two decades, the white coat ceremony has become a rite of passage in the medical community and in schools of pharmacy throughout the country. The ceremony reminds students of the human side of science and the value of patient-centered care.
The School of Pharmacy’s 2011 White Coat Ceremony marked a new chapter in the lives of 104 students, who will begin their clinical rotations next fall. After the ceremonial donning of their white lab coats, each student received a Caduceus pin, a traditional symbol of the medical community.
Close to 300 friends and family members watched as KU School of Pharmacy Dean Ken Audus urged the students to remain mindful of what the white coats represent and what will be expected of them when they wear them.
“I hope you will wear your white coats with pride and humility and that they will serve as constant reminders that the care you provide must be delivered not only with precision, but also with respect, compassion and dignity,” Audus said.
After the pinning and coating, Associate Dean Harold Godwin led the class in the Pledge of Professionalism. Students pledged to “develop a sense of loyalty and duty to the profession of pharmacy by being a builder of community; one able and willing to contribute to the well-being of others, and one who enthusiastically accepts the responsibility for membership in the profession.”
The students will spend one year working with professional pharmacists throughout the area. They each will complete nine clerkships before they return to KU to graduate in spring 2012.
Local students include Sarah Jerree Ritter, Hoisington, daughter of Steven and Sonja Ritter and Julie Elisabeth Keeton, Ness City, daughter of Russell and Kristol King.