Amid excitement and anticipation, first year students from the University’s optometry, audiology, physician assistant and occupational therapy programs were presented with the symbol of their professions - the white coat - as proud relatives and friends watched.

The ceremony, which marks the students’ “official” entrance into their chosen profession, took place at Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park on October 13. After a warm welcome from Salus provost, Dr. Janice Scharre, students heard from President Michael Mittelman, who told them that becoming a healthcare professional is a privilege, and “from this point forward you all will be held to a higher standard both in the way you live and in the way you perform your respective jobs.” Keynote speaker Rear Admiral Terry J. Moulton, director of the US Navy Medical Service Corps, told the students that their white coats were symbols of their commitment to service and professionalism. He added that the foundation of success was the three tenets of professionalism: integrity, honor and commitment. RADM Moulton told the students that trust is another composite of the symbolism of their white coats, as “patients will trust you to do what’s right.” 

University deans and directors: Dr. Lori Grover, dean of Pennsylvania College of Optometry; Dr. Victor Bray, dean of Osborne College of Audiology; Dr. Richard C. Vause, Jr., director of the physician assistant program; Dr. Audrey Smith, dean of the College of Education and Rehabilitation, and Dr. Fern Silverman, director of the occupational therapy program, were on hand to help each student don their personalized jacket and the students were then congratulated by Dr. Mittelman. After the ceremony students and their guests enjoyed light refreshments at the synagogue.