DPT Students Mark Educational Milestones
On September 11, the first and second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students, received their personalized white lab coats and honored cadaver donors in the first combined White Coat and Remembrance Ceremony. This unique ceremony marks the end of formal anatomy studies and the beginning of clinical work.
Each year in the past, the DPT students showed appreciation to those who have donated their bodies, providing the students with valuable classroom laboratory resources, with a simple, somber service. During their first two semesters, they spend four hours per week in the human anatomy laboratory working with six to seven human cadavers. The second-year students traditionally host the service of remembrance and thanksgiving upon completion of their anatomical studies.
“Generally, this is a first experience for many of the students in dissection of human specimens,” says Deon Thompson, clinical associate professor. She says the ceremony has taken place every September during her 22 years on the faculty. “We are always mindful of the magnificent gift that has been given by those persons (and their families), and our ‘coming together’ never fails to remind me of this gift.”
A more upbeat portion of the ceremony, the first year DPT students each received their personalized white coat. The white coat ceremony, similar to white coat ceremonies held by medical schools, symbolizes the beginning of clinical education. DPT students from the third year classes hosted the event, bringing all the classes together to celebrate the milestones in PT education.
“Receiving my white coat was a very proud moment for me. I know for myself, as well as my classmates, it has been a long hard journey getting to this point, so the white coat was a symbol of our achievement,” says first-year student Domonique Beckham. “I feel that by [receiving it]in the beginning as opposed to the end is a way to be a constant motivator to what will come in the future. It will also allow me to look and feel professional at my clinical rotations as I represent the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and Georgia State University.”
The department held its first stand-alone white coat ceremony last spring for the Class of 2017.