Virtual White Coat Ceremony Marks Entry Into PA Profession

By | May 22, 2020

The Daemen College Class of 2020 physician assistant graduates were formally welcomed into the profession at a virtual white coat ceremony held in their honor.

Fifty-six PA graduates were recognized in the special online white coat ceremony, a rite of passage that symbolizes their entrance into the physician assistant field. The annual ceremony, which traditionally is held commencement weekend, was moved to a virtual format because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The white coat ceremony has always been my favorite day of the year and it was so disappointing that we could not be together in-person this year to celebrate this special event with our graduating PA students,” said Dr. Gregg Shutts, chair of physician assistant studies. “Although a change in format from our on-campus ceremony, the online event gave us the chance to celebrate and rejoice in the accomplishments of our graduates, who we are pleased to welcome into our Daemen family of PA alumni.”

To prepare for and personalize the virtual event, each graduating PA student received a white coat in advance and recorded a video of a special person in their life “coating” them as done at the annual in-person ceremony. Faculty also recorded their roles in the ceremony via Zoom. A video of the full ceremony was then created from the various pre-recorded pieces.

“The white coat ceremony has always been our final goodbye, and our faculty loves meeting each student on stage and coating them in front of their family and friends,” said Allyson Kirk, associate professor of physician assistant studies. “It was sad to not to have our usual ceremony but watching the students experience the moment with someone special in their lives was beautiful. We are very proud of the Class of 2020.”