SIU Physician Assistant classes honored in White Coat ceremony
A White Coat ceremony held on Saturday, July 31, celebrated the 37 men and women who had just completed the Physician Assistant Program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Carbondale.
A gathering of family and friends at the SIU Student Center watched as members of the Class of 2021 received long white coats in recognition of their new degrees. The graduates then presented short white coats to the incoming members of the Class of 2023. The new Physician Assistant students started the 26-month-long program in late May.
Dr. Janet Albers, chair of SIU’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, delivered the opening remarks to the classes. Mimi Charter, president of the Class of 2021, spoke on behalf of the graduates. Preceptor of the Year awards were presented to Taylor McLard, PA-C, and Laura Law, PA-C, who were selected by the graduating class. Graduate Ryan Schneider received the Charmaine Porter Award for his accomplishment for the most improved PACKRAT test scores.
PA program director Dr. Don Diemer said, “These are unique times for medical professionals. With the dedication these individuals have shown for learning and for embracing the new, I know they are going to have a positive impact on the health care of our region.”
The Physician Assistant Program uses problem-based learning, simulated patient experiences and classroom lectures to train students. The first year of instruction takes place on the second floor of the SIU Center for Family Medicine at 300 West Oak Street, Carbondale. During the second year, learners train with faculty mentors at clinics throughout southern and central Illinois, as well as Southeast Missouri. This summer, the Physician Assistant Program began offering a Doctor of Medical Science degree to Physician Assistants who wish to advance their PA expertise.
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to optimize the health of the people of central and southern Illinois through education, patient care, research and service to the community. SIU Medicine, the health care practice of the school of medicine, includes clinics and offices with more than 300 providers caring for patients throughout the region.
Physician Assistant graduates
Andrew Perry Bliss
Anna Mei Ying Dowling
Diana Alexandra Dragnea
Sue Ann Heironimus
Megan Brooke Heman
Katherine E. Hersberger
Jenna M. Jackson
Jenna Marie Jacobson
Allison Fumiye Kightly
Allyssa Nicole Koerber
Jacob S. Smith
Physician Assistant students