Baylor’s Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics Program is still in its infancy but already faculty and students are building traditions that make it unique, like the White Coat Ceremony.
The Class of 2016 held its White Coat Ceremony June 18 in Cullen Auditorium. With only 20 students in the class, the ceremony was an intimate and personal reflection of students’ journey so far in the program while offering a look ahead – and a little encouragement – on the next phase of their training.
The ceremony marked the completion of basic sciences and didactic coursework. With exams passed, these 20 students will now experience hands-on training as they enter the clinical residency and research portion of the program.
Jared Howell, director of the program, noted that, collectively, the students have completed more than 1,000 hours of class time, earned 76 credit hours and fabricated and fitted more than 20 orthotic and prosthetic devices. And, they’ve walked 121 miles on the “gray mile,” the corridor leading to the MSOP lab.
“The curriculum has been challenging and rigorous,” he said. “But you’ve blazed new trails as only the second MSOP class at Baylor. This is a remarkable time as you move forward and start seeing patients.”
In addition to Howell, MSOP faculty Earl Fogler, Lorin Merkley, Ashley Mullen and Josh Utay also spoke, each offering insight into the students’ training. Bob McLaughlin, dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences at Baylor, also addressed students.
Class president ,Amandi Rhett offered personal comments on each student, which had been collected from their peers. Then, a white coat was presented to each student by his or her mentor.
“The white coat is a symbol in medicine, and while orthotics and prosthetics straddle the line of many fields, including medicine, engineering, technology and others, we felt it was appropriate for you, because at the end of the day, you are healthcare providers,” Howell said.
If there was a theme for the ceremony, it was that these MSOP students are pursuing not just a job, or even a career, but a “calling.”
“This field needs people who view it as a calling,” said Fogler, adding that through this calling, Baylor’s MSOP students will help patients become whole again.