Milligan physician assistant students receive white coats

During a ceremony last Saturday, Milligan College’s second class of physician assistant students received their white coats in front of family and friends inside the college’s Gregory Center.

Milligan College’s second class of physician assistant students received their white coats on Saturday, Sept. 7, in the college’s Gregory Center.

The ceremony served as a major milestone for Milligan’s 25 physician assistant students as each student walked across the stage to receive their white coat in front of family and friends.

“The white coat signifies that a professional can provide clinical expertise and empathy for patients,” said Andrew Hull, director of Milligan’s PA program. “This ceremony helps our students understand the great responsibility that comes with their profession. It also marks the halfway point of the classroom phase of our program before our students enter clinical rotations.”

Dr. Jim Pearson, a local doctor at First Choice Pediatrics, served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker, and he shared some of his pivotal experiences since first putting on his white coat.

A native of East Tennessee, Pearson has practiced medicine for more than 30 years and currently serves as an assistant clinical professor in the department of pediatrics at Quillen College of Medicine. He is a fellow in the American College of Pediatrics and is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) and the American College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In his address, Pearson emphasized that the white coat symbolizes hope and trust for patients, and he encouraged students to model their care after Christ’s example.

Milligan’s physician assistant program launched in January 2018 and is a 28-month program that consists of 108 hours. The next class of physician assistant students will begin the program in January 2020.

Learn more about Milligan’s PA program at


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