Pharm D Students Receive Their White Coats

West Coast University Doctor of Pharmacy students recently took part in their White Coat Ceremony, an important milestone that marked their formal entry into the profession.

“The white coat symbolizes a commitment to excellence in patient care and professionalism,” said Dr. Kyle Sousa, assistant dean of student affairs at the School of Pharmacy.

Forty-two students are currently enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. School officials made the decision to hold the White Coat Ceremony after the first semester rather than at the end of the program as is common at many schools.

“At the end of the first semester, most of our students completed their first experiential rotations at a community pharmacy practice site,” Sousa said. “These experiences permit them to put the coat in a greater context and truly understand the meaning of the words patient care, professionalism and excellence.”

The school invited Dr. Lynette Bradley-Baker, vice president of public affairs and engagement for the American Association of the Colleges of Pharmacy, as the keynote speaker for the White Coat Ceremony, which was attended by all students and 200 additional guests in the West Coast University Los Angeles Learning Site auditorium on Jan.. 25.

“We were delighted to have Dr. Bradley-Baker as our first White Coat Ceremony speaker,” Dean Nicholas Blanchard said. “Dr. Bradley-Baker is a nationally recognized leader in pharmacy and how it relates to public health. She really hit home that all of our students need to be leaders and advocates for the profession. It was a wonderful message for our students as they embark on this four-year journey and fantastic way to begin our second semester.”

At the end of the ceremony, PharmD students also recited the Pharmacist Code of Ethics Pledge together. Dean Blanchard said he has been very impressed with the maturation of this class in such a short period of time.

“I am so proud of what our students have accomplished as members of our school community and they’ve done so without having any upperclassmen as mentors,” he said. “It speaks volumes about them as future professionals.”

To learn more about the WCU Pharmacy program, visit

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.