SPOKANE, Wash.—Washington State University College of Pharmacy recently welcomed its new students in Spokane during the annual White Coat Ceremony. Yakima students will participate in the ceremony on Aug. 27.

Health education programs often use a “white coat” ceremony – where students receive their white lab coats – to signify entry of the student into the professional ranks.

“Many pharmacy programs conduct their white coat ceremonies at the end of the third year to signify the transition from working in the classroom to caring for patients,” said Gary M. Pollack, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “We have intentionally placed our white coat ceremony at the beginning of the first year of study to emphasize that our students are taking a very important first step towards becoming a health care professional. I am very much looking forward to sharing our students’ journeys with them.”

The class of 2019 consists 122 new student pharmacists and 5 new pharmaceutical sciences graduate students at the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus, and 30 new student pharmacists at the college’s new extension location at the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU) campus in Yakima.

The incoming Doctor of Pharmacy class is represented by 114 Washington natives, with 14 coming from California. Other states represented include Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The five working toward a Ph.D. are from Washington state, Mexico, Nigeria, Bangleadesh and China.

This year, all the white coats were provided to students courtesy of Walgreens. WSU pharmacy alumnus and Walgreens representative, Nick Bruck, was onstage for the Spokane ceremony and personally coated every student pharmacist. Bruck will also be in Yakima to give the rest of the college’s new student pharmacists a white coat and a Cougar welcome.

[August 26, 2015] By: Lori J. Maricle