Symbolism to Mark Start of School Year for Western University's New Physical Therapy Students
December 11, 2000
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Members of Western University: A Graduate University of Medical Science’s
Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) class of 2003, will don their white lab
coats for the first time in a special campus ceremony at noon, Sunday,
The white coat has come to symbolize the wearer as a caregiver. To wear
the garment is to accept responsibility for someone else’s well being.
Putting it on for the first time is a symbolic moment for health
professionals-in-training, one that many health professions universities
such as Western University now celebrate.
Entering members of the University’s other health professions programs
have their white coat ceremonies during the University’s Welcome Week in
August. The University’s MPT students matriculate in January and so a
special white coat ceremony is held for them just a few days into the
start of their program.
It is here that the students – before friends, family and faculty – slip
into their white lab coats and recite the “”Pledge of Commitment,”” a
promise to work toward becoming competent and compassionate health care
“”White coat ceremonies serve as a wonderful starting point for our
students as they begin their health care careers,”” said Donna Redman-
Bentley, PhD, PT, chair, Physical Therapy Education Department. “”Donning
that white lab coat is a powerful reminder of the privileges and
responsibilities they are undertaking.””
Western University’s Master of Physical Therapy program was launched in
1992 and is housed in the College of Allied Health Professions. The
program takes two years and four months to complete and prepares the
graduate to become a physical therapist generalist with education in all
areas of practice, including clinical practice, clinical research,
publications, public presentations and teaching.
For more information on the Master of Physical Therapy program, contact
the University’s Office of Admissions at (909) 469-5541.