By Lori Maricle, College of Pharmacy

SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State University College of Pharmacy recently welcomed its new students in Spokane during the annual White Coat Ceremony. Yakima students will participate in the ceremony on Aug. 27.

Health education programs often use the formal ceremony – where students receive their white lab coats – to signify entry into the professional ranks.

“Many pharmacy programs conduct their white coat ceremonies at the end of the third year to signify the transition from working in the classroom to caring for patients,” said Gary M. Pollack, dean of the WSU College of Pharmacy. “We have intentionally placed our white coat ceremony at the beginning of the first year of study to emphasize that our students are taking a very important step toward becoming a health care professional.”

The college is welcoming 157 new students in the class of 2019 in Spokane and Yakima. The class consists of 122 student pharmacists and five pharmaceutical sciences graduate students at the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus and 30 student pharmacists at the new extension location at the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU) campus in Yakima.

There are 114 Washington natives among the pharmacy student and 14 from California. Other states represented include Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The five working toward a Ph.D. are from Washington state, Mexico, Nigeria, Bangleadesh and China.

The white coats were provided to students courtesy of Walgreens.