UT audiology doctoral students will take a symbolic next step into their professional careers Saturday with the first annual audiology white coat ceremony.
The white coat ceremony is celebrated across the world by members of the healthcare field. The ceremony is a tradition meant to establish participants as professionals in their field, and they pledge to uphold humanistic values.
The ceremony, hosted by the UT Austin Student Academy of Audiology, will honor nine UT students in their third year of graduate school. This fall, these students will enter their externship year where they will be doing full-time clinical work.
Audiology graduate student Annelise Gerardi is the president of the organization and is also being honored.
“White coat ceremonies are held across the globe for medical, dental, veterinary, audiology, physical therapy and optometry schools,” Gerardi said. “While some audiology programs host this event at the beginning of the student’s education, we would rather save the occasion for when all academic coursework has been completed.”
Students who are being honored will be coated while their fourth year externship destination is read out loud. Following this, honorees will be asked to take a UT audiology oath.
Tyler Hawthorne, second year audiology graduate student, is the group’s philanthropy chair and the main coordinator of the event. He said he’s not sure why this ceremony was not brought to UT earlier.
“There are 5 audiology programs in Texas, and the other 4 have had white coat ceremonies for quite some time,” Hawthorne said in an email. “(The organization’s) officers and the 2nd years worked together to make this event happen. We received some guidance from the Texas Tech chapter and the UNT chapter and have modeled our ceremony after theirs. “
Honorees will be spending their externship in a variety of locations, from hospital clinics to private practices around the country. After their final year, the students will return to campus next May to receive their doctorate of audiology and graduate.
Audiology graduate student Ella Stimson is one of the nine being honored and said she is excited for the ceremony.
“The white coat ceremony symbolizes a new journey as a clinical professional,” Stimson said. “As this is the first ever white coat ceremony for audiology students at The University of Texas at Austin, I am excited to be a part of it.”