DALLAS TWP., Pa. — Students in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program at Misericordia University recently received their long white coats at a special completion ceremony. Among them was Michael Goetz, of La Porte.
More than 150 family and friends attended the event, which included a welcome from Stanley J. Dudrick, M.D., F.A.C.S., medical director and professor of physician assistant studies, and a message from Leamor Kahanov, Ed.D., A.T.C., L.A.T., dean of the College of Health Sciences and Education. Faculty members Darci Brown, M.S.P.A.S., PA-C., program director; Jennifer L. Arnold, M.H.S., PA-C., director of didactic education, and Lindsey Vigilante, M.S.P.A.S., PA-C., director of clinical education, distributed the white coats and conducted the completion ceremony.
At the ceremony, the cohort of 18 students received their second white coat, a longer coat than the one they initially received the previous year signifying program completion. In addition, the students took the Physician Assistant Professional Oath, reminding them to always put the health, safety and privacy of their patients first and at all times be professional.
During the awards portion of the program, Class President Tanner Bulkley of Granville Summit offered remarks to the class and presented the Preceptor of the Year Award to Neil Heffernan, PA-C., a physician assistant in cardiology at the Wilkes-Barre Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Physician assistant student Mary Armstrong of Endwell, New York, was recognized as program’s valedictorian. Jaclyn Fudala of Philadelphia was presented with the Top Clinical Year Student Award, and Katelyn Mantz of Hazle Township was recognized with the Spirit Award.
During their clinical year, the physician assistant students performed 10 five-week clinical clerkships in a variety of professional settings to ensure they amassed a wide range of learning experiences. Working directly with patients under professional supervision, the students learned to evaluate and treat medical problems in ambulatory, internal and emergency medicine, as well as in pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and women ’s health. The students also took a class to help them prepare to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and an objective standardized clinical examination (OSCE) in order to enter the profession.