By Scott Robertson
Seventy-four new students are in class today at East Tennessee State University’s Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, having received their white coats at a Friday ceremony in the D.P. Culp University Center. The class of 2020 also took the Oath of a Student Pharmacist, pledging to go forward with honesty, integrity and professionalism; to respect confidentiality and privacy; and to place the care of patients as their foremost responsibility.
“I know you will gladly accept these responsibilities and obligations, and that you will be a credit to the Gatton College of Pharmacy and to East Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Wilsie Bishop, ETSU vice president for Health Affairs and chief operating officer. “We expect great things from you.”
The incoming class of students also heard from the president of the class of 2019, Shannon Schreiner. “Look around at the people next to you,” she said. “You will find out quickly that they will become your family. Gatton has that way about it. It will bring you all close without you even realizing it. We call it a ‘pharm-ily’ for a reason. It really does take a village, and out of all the villages you could have picked, you picked the best one in Gatton.”
Dr. Corinne Allen, Mountain States Health Alliance director of Pharmacy Servies for Washington County, told the class, “I did not get where I have gotten because I was the most experienced or most qualified, and I was not the smartest in my class. But I was the one who was always willing to do more and put forth extra effort. So be the one who’s willing to take out the trash just because it’s full and cleanliness is important in a pharmacy. Be the one who takes extra time studying because it could one day help save someone’s life.
“Push yourself more each day,” Allen told the incoming students, “and don’t waste time complaining because it’s not going to do any good. Be a big dose of Vitamin C and not a big germ that infects everyone else with negativity.”