Pharmacy students receive first white coats of their career

Campbell University’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (CPHS) rounded out its back-to-school events with the Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2018 White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 22.The White Coat Ceremony marks the transition from pre-professional to professional students and represents the responsibility students undertake upon matriculating through a pharmacy program.


The College’s largest pharmacy class to date was addressed by Ronald W. Maddox, dean of CPHS, and Erin Bastidas, a 2000 graduate of the program and current president of the CPHS Alumni Association Board of Directors.


Maddox shared with the audience personal experiences of his time as a community pharmacist and the importance of patient care. Although the majority of his career is rooted in academia, Maddox spent a brief period of time on the front lines of pharmacy immediately following his graduation.


“My last few weeks at the pharmacy were filled with cookies, cakes, pies, and gifts of gratitude for my work there,” shared Maddox, “but it was never about me. I went to work with one goal - to help my patients. That is what made the difference.”


Maddox’s remarks were followed by a professionalism address by Bastidas who shared memories of her time at the then Campbell University School of Pharmacy as well as the pillars of professionalism in the health care community. Bastidas urged students to understand the magnitude of the education they are embarking on.


“Simply by wearing a white coat, you will garner the respect of many,” said Bastidas. “You must work to keep their respect. You must show your patients and colleagues your commitment to them by continuing to make solid choices in your career.”


After sharing several memories from her time at the then Campbell University School of Pharmacy, Bastidas encouraged the cohort to respect the foundation laid by the alumni of her alma mater.


“You will be wearing a CPHS patch on your white coat. Do not underestimate the importance of that. When people see that CPHS logo, they may already have set in their minds the standards they expect you to uphold. Respect the patch.”


The ceremony concluded with the class being invited to the stage, one-by-one, to receive their first white coats as family, friends and faculty of CPHS looked on.


Photo: Erin Bastidas, PharmD ’00, addresses the Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2018