The Physician Assistant Studies class of 2013 received their completion certificates and long white coats signifying their entry into the field at an Aug. 9 ceremony in the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center.
In all, 45 new physician assistants were awarded certificates and took the Physician Assistant oath at the ceremony. The event included a U.S. Navy commissioning ceremony for PA graduate Caitlin Nichols, lieutenant junior grade, who will serve as a physician assistant in the Navy. The commissioning was presided over by Navy Lt. Mark Howell.
Lawrence Herman, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony, attended by graduates and their families, University and PA program officials and other guests.
Kathryn Kenline, class president, addressed her classmates. “It has been a much longer journey than the official 25 months of the program. For many of us this has been a six-year process and today we are infinitely different people than we were six years ago,” she said. “Today is an incredible day.”
Jesse Coale, associate professor and director of the PA program, said, “The certificate ceremony is bittersweet for me. It is satisfying seeing our students develop into physician assistants, but sad to have to say good-bye.”
With their coursework completed, the PA graduates will prepare to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam over the next few months. Philadelphia University PA graduates historically have had a 95 percent pass rate on the national certifying exam.