College of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony: Class of 2018
The heat was stifling, but the PharmD class of 2018 wasn’t sweating it when they donned their new white lab coats on Friday, Aug. 22, for a group photo on the steps outside the University of Cincinnati’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy.
Immediately following the photo session, a total of 96 students then attended an official white coat ceremony in nearby Kresge Auditorium. The 420-seat auditorium was at capacity, with students seated near the stage and surrounded by the support of faculty, alumni, family and friends. Student were called to the stage by Andrea Wall, the associate dean for student affairs, and "coated” by Pharmacy Dean Neil MacKinnon, PhD.
They also each received a congratulatory handshake from UC President Santa Ono, PhD.
"You are entering the pharmacy profession at a very exciting time,” Ono told the audience in opening remarks, pointing to the expanding role of pharmacists in the health care profession: "Pharmacists are doing things that they have not done in the past. For example, just 10 years ago it wasn’t common for pharmacists to give flu shots and other immunizations, whereas now it’s commonplace,” the president said, noting that his 2013 flu shot was administered by a UC PharmD student.
UC’s PharmD students are going to be well prepared for upcoming changes, Ono added, hinting at an announcement made the following Tuesday that UC would be making a significant financial investment in the college’s physical plant in the near future. See article: Funds Approved for Renovation and Design of AHC Buildings.
This was the second white coat ceremony for MacKinnon, who became dean in 2013.
In his speech, MacKinnon emphasized to students the value being placed on those who chose health care as a profession and the influence they exercise: "Whether it be a pharmacist, a physician, a nurse, or dentist or another health professional who wears a white coat, patients will trust that individual and follow their advice…We can’t always control patient outcomes and not every patient will recover and be healed; however, we have complete control over how we interact with our patients and how we earn and maintain their trust.”
Class of 2018 notables are:
• For the first time in at least 20 years, the class has more males than females, but not by much: 53 percent to 47 percent. • The class has an average GPA of 3.5 and PCAT score of 71. • Sixty percent were already Bearcats before being accepted to the PharmD program. • Seventy-eight percent of the class is from Ohio. • Eighteen percent are minority students.
The PharmD program at UC is a highly competitive program, ranking No. 12 out of 130 pharmacy programs in a national survey of pharmacy students in 2013.
Honored guests at the ceremony included: Mindy Ferris, a member of the Ohio Board of Pharmacy; Ernest Boyd, PharmD (Hon), executive director of the Ohio Pharmacists Association; Robert Parsons, executive vice president of the Ohio Society for Health Systems Pharmacists; Tyler Dickenson, PharmD candidate and president of the student Tribunal; and William Farrell, co-president of the college Alumni Council.