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Future Physical Therapists Don Their White Coats

Students at Manhattan and Bay Shore Campus Speak of New Responsibilities

November 03, 2016

The White Coat Ceremony, as its colloquially known, is held in varying times for students in the medical profession. SHS DPT students don the coat after their first year, as they begin their clinical rotations.

“The white coat in this ceremony is a symbol of your commitment as a doctor of physical therapy to professionalism and humanistic values,” stated Dr. Jill Horbacewicz, chair of the DPT program. “It is not enough to have knowledge, or even to have skills, but you must have compassion. You must look at the person, not the diagnosis.”

During the ceremony, students were coated by a professor and given a small gift to aid them in their rotations. The ceremony was held on September 27 for the Manhattan campus and on October 15 for the Bay Shore campus.

Dr. Ted Marks, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy in the SHS DPT program, explained the significance of the coat. “It’s the marker of a transition,” he said. “A student is now able to apply their knowledge in a hands-on fashion.”

For the students at both campuses, the white coat was empowering.

“It’s kind of a mid-way point between when we started and graduation, so it gives us a little extra energy and reminds us why we started this journey to become PTs,” stated Bay Shore student Kelly Bender.

Manhattan Campus student Daniel Lu, said that the ceremony “makes everything feel real.”

Ariel Stoner, graduate of Landers College for Women, said the ceremony itself left her feeling positive.

“It’s a reminder that we keep to a higher moral code and are the representatives of our profession,” she said.