On January 6, the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy welcomed friends and family to celebrate Rx2021, the newest class of pharmacy students.
The White Coat Ceremony is a tradition of many healthcare professionals. New students are inducted into their field of study by practicing professionals. At Waterloo Pharmacy’s ceremony, practicing pharmacists who are faculty, staff, or alumni at the School helped the 118 new students into their white coats.
Putting on the white coat is a symbol of the professionalism, knowledge, and trust that pharmacists embody in their communities. As Naushin Hooda, Rx2019 student and president of the Society of Pharmacy Students, said:
“The transforming moment of putting the white coat on will get you one step closer to your dreams. The white coat gives you the power to make a difference.”
The ceremony’s other speakers also shared wisdom and advice with the incoming class. Anne Resnick, Deputy Registrar of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, reminded Rx2021 that as pharmacists they will need to blend both the technical skills of pharmacology and the soft skills of teamwork and communication.
“Wear your passion on your sleeve and show it to every patient you serve,” said Allan Malek, Executive Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer at the Ontario Pharmacists Association. Malek encouraged students to respect the responsibility the white coat represents and to never forget why they chose to study pharmacy.
“Receiving my white coat was one of the proudest moments of my life,” says Vivian Tran, one of the Rx2021 students inducted at the ceremony. "I'm thrilled that I've made it here and excited to be starting my journey at Waterloo Pharmacy."
2018 is a special year for Waterloo Pharmacy, as it marks ten years since the school opened. The White Coat Ceremony was the first of many events in 2018 where the School will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The School of Pharmacy is grateful to the sponsors that support this year’s event: Scotiabank and the Ontario Pharmacists Association who generously provided the white coats for students. See our Facebook page for more photos from the event.