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New learners join Penn State College of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program

The Physician Assistant (PA) Program at Penn State College of Medicine welcomed 30 new students during orientation week, which began on May 20. Part of their orientation included a White Coat Ceremony on May 24.

White coats serve as a symbol of students’ entrance into the medical field. During the event, College of Medicine alumni gave new students stethoscopes to welcome them into the medical profession. Students also recited the Physician Assistant Oath – a pledge to put the health, safety and privacy of patients first while committed to a professional code of ethics.

A person smiles as another person puts a short white coat on them, signifying their entry into the medical profession.

A new student in the PA Program at Penn State College of Medicine receives their white coat at a ceremony on May 24.

“We’re excited to share this rite of passage and welcome our new students to the PA program,” said Program Director Larissa Whitney. “These students have already demonstrated exceptional commitment to academics and serving their communities. We look forward to growing and learning together.”

The new students were selected from a pool of 4,932 applicants. While half of the class is from Pennsylvania, students come to the College of Medicine from 13 states. 90 percent of the students are from groups underrepresented in medicine, active military or veterans, first-generation medical students or from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The students bring an average grade point average of more than 3.7, an average Medical College Admission Test score of 512 and an average number of 2900 healthcare experience hours to their studies.

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