DPT Students Mark Educational Milestones

Posted On September 13, 2016
Categories News, Physical Therapy

On September 9, the first Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students received their personalized white lab coats and second-year students honored the human cadaver donors in the combined White Coat and Remembrance Ceremony. This unique ceremony, which is hosted by the second-year DPT students, marks the end of formal anatomy studies and the beginning of clinical work.

Last fall, the Department of Physical Therapy combined the long-running Remembrance Ceremony with the relatively new White Coat ceremony. In years 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.

Doctor of Physical Therapy white coat and remembrance ceremony

Doctor of Physical Therapy  remembrance ceremony

Second year students Krystyna Holland, Alex Howard and Kelsey Thomasson read reflections of the students and a poem written by a past DPT student to honor the donors, while Jason Kawamura played the violin.

“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 23 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.”

In 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 these milestones in PT education.

Doctor of Physical Therapy white coat and remembrance ceremony

Class recitation from the APTA Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020. These students will recite this again on graduation day.

“Receiving my white coat serves to highlight the responsibility of a student of physical therapy to learn and develop into the best doctor of physical therapy he or she can be,” says Joe Hoyt, Class of 2019 president. “The responsibility is always present, but the white coat is a visible reminder to pursue excellence at all times. It also imparts a sense of honor and gratitude to be a part of the DPT program at Georgia State.”