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Incoming physician assistant students begin training with orientation, white coat ceremony

The Physician Assistant (PA) Program at Penn State College of Medicine welcomed 30 new students during orientation week, which began May 17.

Madison Travor holds a welcome kit.

Madison Travor accepts her welcome kit from Christine Bruce at the Penn State College of Medicine Physician Assistant White Coat Ceremony.

The students started their two-year journey to become physician assistants at a white coat ceremony on May 18. They received their white coats and recited the Physician Assistant Oath, symbols of their entrance into the medical profession.

College of Medicine alumni gave the new students stethoscopes as presents to welcome them into the profession and medical community. John Maulfair, graduate of the Class of 2017 and hospitalist in the Department of Internal Medicine, delivered the keynote address.

The new learners were selected from an applicant pool of 5,031. Half of the students are from groups underrepresented in medicine, veterans, first-generation college students or come from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The entering class of 2021 includes 15 men, 15 women and comes from 15 different states, including 11 trainees from Pennsylvania.

“This incoming class has demonstrated exceptional scholarship, leadership and service to their communities,” Program Director Christine Bruce said. “The faculty and staff of the PA Program are proud to welcome these students into our academic community.”

Andru Smith, incoming physician assistant student, puts on his white coat during a ceremony.

Andru Smith dons his white coat at the Penn State College of Medicine Physician Assistant White Coat Ceremony.

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