HAMPTON, Va. (October 8, 2018) – Hampton University officially welcomed the pharmacy class of 2022 during the 17th Annual White Coat Ceremony hosted by the Hampton University School of Pharmacy. During this tradition, first year pharmacy students officially don their white coats, showing their dedication to health care and the pharmacy profession.
“Congratulations to these students for entering the next phase of their academic careers. The Hampton University School of Pharmacy is strong. These current students will receive the best education possible and continue on to be the best pharmacists they can be,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President.
The Dean of the Hampton University School of Pharmacy began the ceremony by introducing and recognizing the faculty and staff in the School of Pharmacy, as well as welcomed family members who came to support their students. “On behalf of Hampton University School of Pharmacy, I’d like to welcome all our guests to the 17th Annual White Coat Ceremony,” said Dr. Anand Iyer, Dean of the Hampton University School of Pharmacy. “It’s really a pleasure, us as a family, to welcome all of you. This is truly a pleasure every year to introduce our new P1 students, and have them go through the White Coat Ceremony, so thank you all for being here.”
The Keynote Address was given by Ellen B. Shinaberry, RPh, PharmD, who is the Deputy Executive Director with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and is primarily responsible for the Board’s discipline program. She left the students with three tokens of advice. “First, be present in the moment, although it may seem to you at times that pharmacy school will never end, it will pass very quickly. Be present in the moment and don’t be afraid to take on the impossible, the greatest opportunities sit on the other side of impossible. Secondly, make time to have fun while you’re here. Pharmacy school will challenge you mentally, physically, psychologically, and socially, and if there’s any other way to challenge you, it will challenge you in that way too. Lastly, cultivate meaningful relationships. Pharmacy is much more than a profession, it’s a family of pharmacists,” Shinaberry said.
In closing, Shinaberry challenged these future pharmacists. “I challenge you to shift your paradigm and focus not on the patient experience, but rather on the human experience. No one wants to be a patient. You will encounter people in the best of times and more often than not, in the worst of times. Listen carefully to what they have to say and always strive to be compassionate, caring and understanding. Allow your practice to be a reflection of who you are and what you believe. And always do so with the highest regard of the health and safety of the patients you serve," Shinaberry said.
Family, friends and fellow students then raucously welcomed each of the 35 new students as each white coat was donned, symbolizing the transition from baccalaureate graduate to pharmacist candidate. Each student took a Pledge of Professionalism promising to “stand for ideals while not compromising integrity, [and] to uphold professionalism, loyalty and honesty.”