A New Coat for the Next Step Forward

The GW SMHS PA Program Class of 2024 received long white coats during commencement weekend signaling the transition from the classroom to the clinic.
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Illustration for PA Long White Coat event

The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) Physician Assistant (PA) Class of 2024 ceremoniously traded in their short white coats for long white coats on the morning of May 18. Few moments rival the gravity and symbolism of donning their long white coats for the first time. It’s a ritual steeped in tradition, a ceremonial step forward signaling their transition from the classroom to the clinic.

Barbara Lee Bass, MD, RESD ’86, FACS, professor of surgery, Walter A. Bloedorn Chair of Administrative Medicine, vice president for health affairs, and dean of GW SMHS, welcomed the GW PA Class of 2024 by expressing her appreciation for the students of the class of 2024 for their hard work over the past few years and the experiences that they shared, recognizing their collective efforts as students stating “I hope that you will remember those roots and stay in touch with us”. Bass also noted that the GW PA Class of 2024 is a special class because it is the class of the Bicentennial year of GW SMHS.

Mary L. Warner, DBH, PA-C, continued the celebration by recognizing two extraordinary faculty members who played a major role in the class of 2024 student’s success. Karen A. Wright, PhD, PA-C, and Marianne Vail, DHSc, PA-C, were recognized with gifts to remember the Class of 2024.

Student speaker, Ebony Eddy, was introduced by her classmate and friend, Wadriann Horne. Eddy reflected on her journey through PA school with her classmates. She commended her classmates for “not just showing up, but also showing out” despite the many challenges that life threw at them throughout their PA school journey. Keynote speaker, Aaron Henry, MSHS, PA-C, spoke to the graduating PA class of 2024 sharing words of wisdom that have helped him persevere throughout his career and sharing that he hopes the graduates will “always remember what you achieved here and know that you are stronger than you think.”

The program recognized students with the following awards:
  • Community Service Award: David Klein 
  • Leadership Award: Alana Herran
  • Academic Excellence Award: Abigail King
  • Student Publication Award: Fatima Elgarguri and Ebony Eddy
  • Humanitarian/Professionalism Award: Robert Pedroza 

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