An important milestone for PharmD students is the “white coat” ceremony, which represents the doctoral candidate's formal entry into the pharmacy profession.
On Oct. 29, West Coast University’s School of Pharmacy prepared 63 crisp, new coats for the class of 2021 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Universal City.
Dr. Max Ray, dean emeritus at Western University of Health Sciences, delivered the keynote address at this year’s ceremony. Dr. Ray, an industry veteran with more than 50 years practice and education experience, reinforced the symbolism of the white coat and its connection to professionalism in his speech.
He reminded the first-year students that the word “professionalism” is derived from a need to profess something and how the pharmacy profession comes with a responsibility to continue learning throughout one’s lifetime. In his concluding remarks, Dr. Ray invited each student to write a letter to their loved ones to express thanks for their support and encouragement as they embark on their professional career.
Dr. Kyle Sousa, assistant dean of student affairs, presented each student as they walked onto the stage and students were officially coated and welcomed into the profession by Dr. Reza Taheri, pharmacy school dean.
The ceremony concluded with students reciting the Pharmacist Code of Ethics Pledge led by Dr. Keri Hurley-Kim, assistant professor of pharmacy practice.