New students of Western University of Health Sciences’ Master of Physical

Therapy (MPT) program will receive their first white lab coat and a charge

to be compassionate clinicians-in-training during a special campus

ceremony at noon on Sunday, January 13.

In its 10th year, the MPT Department’s White Coat Ceremony calls for

students to receive their clinical garbs and take the “”Pledge of

Commitment”” to begin their 28-month program. Western University originated

this ceremony for all of its departments as a means of embodying the

humanitarian precepts implemented in its curricula. 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.

“”The White Coat Ceremony initiates a feeling of importance,

professionalism and compassion among the students as they begin their

education here,”” said MPT Department Chair Donna Redman-Bentley, PhD,

PT. “”With the current need for physical therapists, they are exactly what

the health care industry will need in the coming years.””

With recent changes in health care legislation to allow increased

insurance coverage on physical therapy, Redman-Bentley said that the job

market for therapists is undergoing great improvement.

“”During the last few years, legislation had made physical therapy a tough

career choice for many college graduates,”” Redman-Bentley said. “”However,

that trend is changing for entering students.””

Western University’s entering students of the MPT program will receive

their lab coats in the Health Professions Center’s Prem Reddy Hall and

attend a celebratory luncheon in the Student Commons following the

ceremony.