HARROGATE, Tenn. — Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine held the White Coat Ceremony for the Physician Assistant Program class of 2016 on June 27.
The White Coat Ceremony is an important, public demonstration of a student’s commitment to patient care and professionalism. The Ceremony is considered to be a rite of passage, because an individual has demonstrated the qualities and abilities to provide competent care, and can move on to the next phase of his or her training.
John Grace, MD, PA, a board certified psychiatrist in Crystal River, Florida, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Grace has worked in mental health for over twenty years; first, as a counselor at a long-term care facility during his undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois where he graduated magna cum laude with dual degrees in biology and psychology. He is on clinical faculty at the University of South Florida and LMU-DCOM teaching psychiatric residents, medical students and physician assistants regarding mental illness.
During the ceremony the Alisha Jane Hicks Memorial Scholarship was presented to PA Class of 2016 member Reena Rajendra Kumar Patel of Chesterfield, Virginia. The scholarship was established to honor the memory of Alisha Hicks, a member of the PA Program class of 2013 who passed away following a car accident in June 2013. In choosing the recipient, factors considered include program GPA and community service, as well as the characteristics which Alisha Hicks embodied, such as passion for the LMU-DCOM PA Program and the PA profession, a selfless nature, compassion for others, a desire to care for the underserved and faith in the greater good.