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Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2019 Celebrates and Reflects at White Coat Ceremony

InTouch 5-8-17

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Class of 2019 in the School of Health Sciences and Practice donned their white coats for the first time in front of their families and friends at the White Coat Ceremony in Nevins Auditorium on April 24. The occasion marked their entrance into the clinical years of their education and their commitment to the profession of physical therapy and future patients. View the photo gallery here. View the video here. 

Michael J. Majsak, P.T., Ed.D., associate professor and chairman of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences and Practice, welcomed the crowd to the auspicious occasion. “Today’s ceremony is intended to symbolize and celebrate the transition of our first-year students from the classroom to the clinic; the application of knowledge gained; and working with clients and patients in clinical environments as Doctor of Physical Therapy students,” said Dr. Masjak. “The ceremony today is an explicit expression of our students committing themselves to the professional and ethical obligations of a Doctor of Physical Therapy as they begin the privilege of dedicating themselves to the care of others.”

Nicolas Naguib, P.T., D.P.T. ’13, M.P.H., senior physical therapist at The Mount Sinai Hospital, was welcomed back to campus and gave the alumnus address. He reflected on his own personal transition from the classroom to the clinic and offered advice to the Class of 2019 on the importance of stewardship and how to embrace the opportunities that will arise during their clinical rotations in the midst of unique challenges.

Reflecting on the White Coat Ceremony, D.P.T. student Steven Paulus said, “To me, the integration of the White Coat Ceremony to D.P.T. programs across the country truly represents the magnitude of its meaning. It is, in my opinion, an elevation of the status of an event that was once exclusive to medical students only…It is a symbol of the rising prevalence of skilled, interdisciplinary health care.” 

Before the closing the program, the D.P.T. Class of 2019 took the pledge for physical therapy first endorsed in 2004 by the Education Section of the American Physical Therapy Association to profess their commitment to compassionate care, high standards for practice, education and research and effect changes that benefit patients, clients and the community.