MBKU Honors First-Ever PA Class in Orange County with White Coat Ceremony

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Judy Ortiz, M.H.S., M.S., PA-C leads the School of Physician Assistant Studies’ Class of 2016, the first-ever class of physician assistant students, as they receive white coats in preparation for clinical rotations starting in the fall.

A photo of an MBKU white coat

MBKU's first-ever PA White Coat Ceremony

This class is setting the bar for the future of our program and I am very proud of the excellence they have shown in completing the rigorous didactic program here at MBKU.

The School of Physician Assistant Studies at Marshall B. Ketchum University presented its first set of white coats on Friday, May 22, at the Ernest A. Hutchinson Memorial Amphitheater on its Fullerton campus. The 28 students of the SPAS’ first class received white coats to mark the completion of the didactic portion of the school’s PA curriculum. The students will begin clinical rotations in the fall to complete the 27-month Master of Medical Science program. Graduates will form the first-ever class of PAs to come from a program within Orange County.

“This class is setting the bar for the future of our program and I am very proud of the excellence they have shown in completing the rigorous didactic program here at MBKU,” commented Dean of MBKU’s College of Health Sciences and Director of the School of Physician Assistant Studies Judy Ortiz, M.H.S., M.S., PA-C. “I fully expect they will carry the same level of excellence into the clinical setting.”

The ceremony was presided over by Dean Ortiz. Additionally, University President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. opened the ceremony with words of encouragement and program Medical Director Daniel L. May, M.D. offered a brief address to the advancing class.

“We are very proud of the class of 2016,” remarked University President Dr. Kevin L. Alexander, “It is a challenge to be an inaugural class, and a tremendous opportunity. Our students have a fantastic attitude and a promising future ahead of them.”

The PA faculty of the college then presented the 28 students with the symbolic white coats.

“Receiving the white coat is such a meaningful rite of passage,” said Benjamin Hicks, President of the inaugural class of physician assistant students. “As a symbol of compassion and healing, it definitely puts me in a different mindset for taking what I’ve learned with my peers and now helping real patients in the clinical setting.”

About Marshall B. Ketchum University
MBKU is now home to the Southern California College of Optometry and the College of Health Sciences. The University confers a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (M.S.) degree. MBKU’s School of Physician Assistant Studies under the College of Health Sciences awards a Master of Medical Sciences (M.M.S.) degree. MBKU has recently announced plans to establish a College of Pharmacy and plans to welcome its first class in the fall of 2016. MBKU owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers – University Eye Center at Fullerton and University Eye Center at Los Angeles. Marshall B. Ketchum University closed on a deal in January, 2015 to purchase a building in Anaheim, CA. The building will be the new home of Ketchum Health, currently the University Eye Center housed at MBKU’s main campus in Fullerton. In addition, the new space will allow for expansion of additional primary health care services, as well as a pharmacy.

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Katie Santos-Coy
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