Staff Photo: Frank Reddy First year pharmacy student Thao Trinh, second from right, assists classmate Thanh-Trang Pham with her white coat during ceremonies at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. Ninety-three first year pharmacy students participated.
SUWANEE -- Students at Georgia Campus-Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine took part in a ceremony over the weekend that symbolized the beginning of academic study in a healthcare profession.
In total, 228 first year medical and pharmacy students at Georgia Campus-PCOM were presented their white coat jackets Sunday during a ceremony at the Gwinnett Center for the Performing Arts.
The 135 medical and 93 pharmacy students receiving white coats started their four-year journey to obtain the doctor of osteopathic medicine and doctor of pharmacy degrees, respectively.
Of the 93 students in the first year pharmacy class, 60 are from Georgia. Of the remaining 33, 16 come from other states with eight calling Florida home.
The PCOM School of Pharmacy is now in its second year and has candidate status accreditation, meaning the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education has reviewed the program and deemed it worthy to continue and to apply for full accreditation.
Of the 135 students in the first year of medical school, 53 are from Georgia and represent 18 counties. Of the remaining students, 81 come from other states with 28 from Florida.
In its seventh year, the osteopathic medicine program was the first academic program offered on the Suwanee campus. It began with an entering class of 86 students in 2005. The class size remained at 86 until this year when the accrediting agency authorized an increase to 135.
GA-PCOM opened in 2005 as a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a medical school chartered in 1899 in Philadelphia.
The Class of 2015 is the largest class to enter the physician program at Georgia Campus-Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.