Eye on Education

White Coat Ceremony: A Sea of White Starts the Road to a Professional Journey

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Salus University’s annual White Coat Ceremony was held August 16 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The ceremony featured 346 students in optometry, audiology, physician assistant studies, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology who received the symbol of their professions – the white coat. It is tangible proof that the students have truly begun their professional journey.

The keynote speaker was Michael Cowan, MD, FACP, VADM, USN (retired), the 34th Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy and a mentor of Salus President Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, who served as Dr. Cowan’s executive assistant in the Navy for many years.

Dr. Cowan delivered an entertaining yet poignant message to the students, emphasizing something that Salus has front and center in its mission: patient-centeredness. “If you ever think of doing something and it’s not in the best interest of patients, then you’re doing it wrong and you might want to rethink it,” said Dr. Cowan.

Once the white coat presentations began, it took 47 minutes for all the names to be called. All the students then stood, in a sea of white, and recited the Oath of Professionalism to conclude the ceremony.

“In academics, we most often celebrate the end of a journey with the graduation ceremony,” said Dr. Cowan. “But the future is more exciting than the past, and the ceremony that you and Salus University are having today will celebrate the beginning of your professional career. It will be a day you will always remember.”


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