Cumberland Sign

WILLIAMSBURG — Students in Cohort 6 (Class of 2022) of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) program at University of the Cumberlands received their white coats this spring, signifying their successful completion of the didactic portion of the program.

The following students from your area received their white coats:

Zachary Hurley of East Bernstadt (40729)

Morgan Nickell of London (40741)

A. Trey Pelfrey of Hazard (40741)

The white coat ceremony is a symbolic ceremony marking the transition from didactic learning to clinical studies. PA students complete four semesters of didactic education before receiving the white coat. The ceremony typically occurs during students' second year of studies. After the ceremony, they begin the clinical year, comprised of three semesters and ten clinical rotations. During these three semesters, they also complete a professional development course and a capstone research project. Approximately 27 months after matriculation, students graduate the program, prepared to take the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE). After passing the PANCE, they are certified to practice medicine in any specialty they prefer.

Fatimah Hussain, president of the UCPA Class of 2022, remarked, "This past year has been a real ride for us. The COVID-19 restraints affected us all and taught us a significant amount of patience, new medical practices, the importance of family, and to never take anything for granted."

She continued, "What makes you a future physician assistant is not the white coat. It is the qualities you possess - your compassion, discipline, selflessness, and intelligence. The ability to practice medicine is a true blessing."

Dana Campbell, director of the UCPA program, said to the students during the ceremony, "You all make me so proud. To persevere in light of what you have faced since matriculation is amazing to me. Congratulations on making it to this milestone!"

University of the Cumberlands is one of the largest and most affordable private universities in Kentucky. Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at

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