A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) celebrated the doctor of audiology class of 2023 with a socially distanced white coat ceremony.
“I am extremely proud of our 10 doctor of audiology students in their second year who are sitting here in front of me today,” said Tabitha Parent-Buck, AuD, department chair, professor. “This white coat provides a symbolic transition from the didactic classroom education to the more clinical years of the AuD program.”
Several ATSU-ASHS faculty members were present and participated in the ceremony. The stage party also included Ann Lee Burch, PT, EdD, MPH, dean ATSU-ASHS, associate professor; Norman Gevitz, PhD, ATSU senior vice president of academic affairs; and Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, ATSU president. In consideration for COVID-19 safety protocols, students were already in their white coats when their names were called. Each student took a moment, while at the front of the room, to thank the people who helped them get to this point, who joined the celebration virtually.
“Doctor of audiology class of 2023, congratulations on receiving your white coats today,” Dr. Burch said. “You’ve worked so hard to get to this point and faced numerous challenges this past year and all along the way, but have overcome these by your resiliency, sense of purpose, and hard work.”
Natasha Howard, AuD, ’13, provided the keynote address for the ceremony.
“It’s what you do outside of your profession’s description that will make you an outstanding audiologist,” Dr. Howard said. “With everything going on in the world right now, you, as students, have a very important role as future healthcare professionals. You are the future of audiology. Just remember, the well-being of your patients comes first, wear your white coat proudly, stay true to your oath, do your absolute best, and don’t forget to have fun.”
Students took a moment to recite the Doctor of Audiology Oath together, declaring their commitment to practicing audiology to the best of their abilities.
“The students made a commitment when they chose the profession of audiology as their career for the future. They made another commitment when they chose ATSU with its osteopathic heritage and dedication to improving patient outcomes through whole person healthcare,” Dr. Parent-Buck said. “The white coat they receive today represents our wish to help them learn the necessary skills and develop the professional behaviors to become compassionate and humble caregivers, providing audiology care to the best of their abilities.”