Northern Arizona University PA Program holds white coat ceremony for Class of 2024  

Students in white coats read ano ath from a piece of paper.

The Physician Assistant class of 2024 was welcomed to NAU with a white coat ceremony Aug. 11 at the Phoenix Bioscience Core. 

The white coat ceremony is a rite of passage for health care professionals to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care as they begin their training. 

The 59 students, in addition to donning their coats, recited an oath to patient care, which they crafted to reflect the mission of the program. All students received Keeping Healthcare Human lapel pins, courtesy of the Gold Foundation, which serve as a visual reminder to students that in order to deliver the best care to their patients, compassion and empathy must be the hallmark of their clinical practice. 

Students came forward during the ceremony to be “cloaked” in the iconic white coat by assistant clinical professor Tiffany Cooke and associate clinical professor Ian McLeod, both from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, in front of the students’ family and friends. 

Eighty percent of the Class of 2024 are Arizona residents, while a quarter come from underrepresented minority groups.  

“As you start your path toward becoming a PA, look for your version of the white coat and strive to embody it—whether you are wearing it or not,” Bettie Coplan, associate professor in the Department of PA Studies, told the Class of 2024 in her keynote address. 

 All photos taken by Elizabeth Marie Photography.

A woman in a white coat shakes the hand of a man in a white coat by a flag for NAU College of Health and Human Services

A woman in a white coat kisses her son while another woman holds him.

A man and a woman put a coat on a future physician assistant.

A man and a woman put a white coat on a woman.

A man and a woman put a white coat on a woman in a pink dress.

Two men and a woman wearing white coats smile on the stage.

NAU Communications