White Coat Ceremony ushers in new cohort of dedicated health care providers

The 25th edition of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy’s White Coat Ceremony helped usher in a new cohort of health care providers, as more than 225 first-year student pharmacists were presented with white coats on April 15. The annual ceremony was held in the Stephen C. O’ Connell Center and attended by students from the Gainesville, Jacksonville and Orlando campuses.

White Coat Ceremony 2023During the ceremony, UF student pharmacists were called to the stage one by one and coated for the first time. The white coat presentation represents a symbolic journey into the next phase of a pharmacy student’s training — where they will be interacting with patients and practicing their skills in a clinical setting.

Robin Moorman Li, Pharm.D., BCACP, NBC-HWC, a clinical associate professor and the UF College of Pharmacy’s 2022-23 Teacher of the Year, provided the keynote address. She encouraged the student pharmacists to wear their white coats with pride and always uphold the highest standards of the profession.

“The white coat represents leadership. You will be challenged to identify opportunities to lead our profession and your health care team,” Moorman Li said. “As you wear your white coats, I challenge you to be fierce advocates for your patients. Never be afraid to show passion for your profession and the patients you serve.”

The UF College of Pharmacy was among the first pharmacy colleges in the nation to hold a White Coat Ceremony. Randall Doty, Pharm.D., a clinical associate professor, and a group of faculty suggested the idea of a professional coating ceremony, and the first ceremony was held on April 22, 1998, in the Medical Science Building Auditorium. About 115 students walked across the stage that day to receive their coats.