Sixty-six students who are members of the inaugural class at Roosevelt University’s new College of Pharmacy took the first step toward their chosen profession, donning white coats and taking the American Pharmacists Association’s official oath of a pharmacist during Roosevelt University’s first-ever White Coat Ceremony.
A time-honored tradition in the pharmacy profession, the White Coat Ceremony formally marks the beginning of one’s entry into the field of pharmacy. It is typically held prior to the start of clinical rotations, which began for Roosevelt’s inaugural class of PharmD students in September.
“Your journey begins today,” Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy Dean George MacKinnon told students during the White Coat Ceremony that was held Sept. 6 at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg. “You are a member of the inaugural class and you are setting the stage as committed, competent and compassionate pharmacists for the many classes of students that will follow you,” he said.
Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy, which opened its doors in July, is the Midwest’s first three-year, year-round program, offering students an opportunity to enter the field on a fast-track basis. Clinical rotations, which provide field experiences and which began for students shortly after the White Coat Ceremony concluded, are a regular part of the curricula, continuing until the inaugural class of students graduates in 2014.
Dr. Phil Burgess, chair of the Illinois State Board of Pharmacy and a 40-year veteran in the field, was the keynote speaker at the White Coat Ceremony. “Always be proud, always stay involved, always give back and always put the patient first,” Burgess told the students who hail from 15 states and seven countries.
Janeen Winnike, director of field recruiting for SUPERVALU Pharmacies, Inc., and a founding member of the College of Pharmacy’s Professional Council, led members of the inaugural class through the American Pharmacist Association’s professional oath. Students were coated during the White Coat Ceremony by their faculty advisors who are part of the College of Pharmacy’s new 26-member faculty and staff team.
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