CSUMB launches new wave of healthcare workers with ceremony

Photo: White Coat Ceremony 2021

MSPA students and leadership in the 2021 White Coat ceremony | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias

December 17, 2021

The Master of Science Physician Assistant program’s third annual white coat ceremony took place Saturday, Dec. 11, at University Center.

In it, 25 Class of 2023 MSPA students received their white coats, signifying their transition from the academic portion of the program into supervised clinical practice.

They can variously be assigned to all major area hospitals, including Salinas Valley Memorial, CHOMP, Dominican, Natividad, Mee Memorial, and Hazel Hawkins.

In addition, some may go to clinics like Doctors on Duty, PrimeCare, Montage Medical Group, Athena Medical, Clinicas de Salud del Valle de Salinas, Dignity Health, Taylor Farms Medical, and others.

MSPA Director Christopher Forest called the ceremony “transformative.”

“This is one of the best parts of my position, to participate in this joyful, momentous occasions such as this,” he told the assembled students, families and campus leadership.

“You have long anticipated this day, some with eagerness, some with anxiety, some with a complicated mix of emotions—but whatever you are feeling here today, you deserve to hold a keen sense of pride. You made it!”

Taylor Ash, the Class Representative for the previous class, told the Class of 2023, “Work hard at being the best PA students you can be in order to build on what students before you developed. We are a family and we want everyone to succeed as we pass the torch to you.”

In attendance were President Eduardo M. Ochoa, Provost Katherine Kantardjieff, and Dean Harald Barkhoff, with a special keynote speaker, Alfred Sadler, MD.

This class began their study during pandemic with classes on Zoom, but were able to attend their white coat ceremony masked and in-person. As physician assistants, they will fill a critical need in healthcare in the region, especially among underserved populations.